THE Kenya Farmers Association has reassured its members in South Rift that it will soon regain its lost glory. KFA director Kipkorir Menjo said the association was in the process of clearing a Sh478 million debt it owes the National Bank of Kenya before embarking on a fresh re-launch of its branches countrywide. He said the association has entered an agreement with the bank to dispose some of its assests to offset the debt.
Speaking in Sotik yesterday, Menjo said the association would revert back to its operations of procuring quality and affordable farm inputs in the coming few months. "The debt has been a major obstacle to the association in executing its core function. I am optimistic that after clearing the debt, farmers will be able to enjoy a reliable supply of quality inputs," he said. "We intend to do away with unscrupulous businessmen and middlemen who have been exploiting farmers for their selfish gains, " said Menjo, adding that the association would start procuring inputs directly from manufacturers once it clears it debts.
He urged the farmers to be vigilant to avoid being exploited. He said the plan to privatise the New Kenya Cooperative Cremeries, saying that those behind the idea have ill intentions. "We as the farmers should take personal initiatives on what is ours. We should not allow outside parties to exploit us," he said.
Menjo KFA's main priority is to settle the bank loan first and then start paying salary arrears it owes its employees. He said that the association had already put a consultant on board to assist them in planning its future operations and come out with a game plan to ward off competition. He urged the members to update their records in the nearest KFA offices .
Meanwhile some farmers in the South Rift are not pleased with the current management of farmers association,led by the KFA shareholders secretary in South Rift Mr Fredrick Tonui the farmers accused the management of not being transparent. Tonui said that though elections of directors should be done after every three years, that has not happened for the last thirteen years. "These directors are occupying their offices illegally, that is why KFA has not been responsive enough to the needs of the farmers" he said. He also added that the association has not been realizing audited financial reports to farmers.