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Govt to repossess land

29 July 2013, 16:04 Mwangi Karanja

The government is in the process of repossessing all irregularly acquired land formerly owned by institutions supporting agriculture.

Speaking over the weekend during the cooperation field day at Namandala Agriculture Development Cooperation (ADC) farm in Endebess, Trans Nzoia County, the cabinet secretary for agriculture, livestock and fisheries Felix Kosgey noted that the institutions have lost vast potions of land through backdoor acquisition which he said has immensely affected food production in the country.

He further noted that ADC has been immensely affected as land that was initially used for animals and crop research is now under private ownership.

“We want to reclaim all lands corruptly allocated because these institutions serve all Kenyans, and no one would be allowed to take them at the cost of the other. We need to promote research in the sector make the country food secure,” he said.

Trans Nzoia county leaders have been calling upon the government to reclaim acres of land belonging to KePHIS and ADC that were corruptly sold to private developers as previous regimes have failed to do so.

On the issue of delay in the distribution of farming inputs, Kosgei charged that the government has already disbursed more than 480 000 bags of CAN fertilizer across the country.

He reiterated that delay in the distribution will be a thing of the past as the government plans to be distributing all inputs three months before planting season commences.

“We already have a plan that would ensure subsidised fertilizers are channeled to farmers earlier because we want to encourage them to produce more,” he added.

He said the Jubilee government will promote irrigation to increase food supply as rainwater is no longer reliable.

Kosgey further refuted claims that the government was planning to use other channels to distribute the cheap fertilizer owing to the problems at National Cereal and Produce Board (NCPB).

He confirmed that the NCPB was here to stay and that it would continue executing its mandate adding that his ministry and other stakeholders will resolve the menace soon since threatens the country’s food security. However, he added that Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) will perfect its operation as it will be used to supply the inputs.

He said that the government will communicate on the matter of “maize price” in a week time adding that farmers needed to be cushioned from unscrupulous middlemen who take advantage of the liberal market.

Kosgey was in the company of the Principal Secretary to the ministry Sicily Kanini Kariuki and the Kenya seed processing manager Andrew Ng’eno who led the tour to the Kenya seed company farms.

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