Farmers oppose bid to privatise NKCC
16 July 2013, 15:00
Trans Nzoia County farmers are against the government's plan to privatise the New Kenya Cooperative Creameries (NKCC).
Speaking over the weekend in Kitale, Kenya National Federation of agricultural producers (Kenfap) Trans Nzoia County Chairman William Kimosong said that it was wrong for the government to distribute the firm's shares to outsiders and yet dairy farmers have financial muscle to acquire it.
He said that government should first empower farmers and then allow them to raise enough capital to take ownership of the firm adding that the privatisation plan is a plot by some wealthy businessmen to grab the company's shares.
“Farmers are able to take the ownership of the firm and that is why we don’t see the meaning of privatization. We will not allow schemers to take what belongs to us as we have contributed immensely to its growth,” he said.
Simon Kiboi, a Dairy farmer in Kitale, reiterated that they will block the government's move adding that giving farmers 42% ownership was unreasonable.
“We need to be given the firm and nothing less,” he said, adding that the government's 100% ownership bid should be transferred to dairy farmers.
In the last year's plan, the Privatization Commission proposed that farmers be allowed to purchase 42% shares, the government 20%, NKCC staff 4% and 34% be floated through the Nairobi Stock Exchange.
However, Kimosong said that the move was rejected as it would have allowed wealthy businessmen to acquire the firm through NSE.
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He pointed out that the government agreed to postpone the process until elections were over and now the new Agriculture cabinet secretary Felix Kosgei should convene a meeting with stakeholders to jump start the process.
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