MEMBERS of Parliament from South Rift have said they will introduce a bill in Parliament to compel the government to compensate farmers whose crops were ravaged by a maize bug in the region.
The MPs said the move to introduce the bill was prompted by Agriculture minister Sally Kosgey's dismissal of calls to compensate the affected farmers.
Konoin MP Julius Kones said locals from Bomet and some parts of Kericho county are staring famine in the face as the disease continues to ravage maize crops. He said the minister has ignored the disease despite its seriousness and the danger it poses to local and national food security. "The Agriculture ministry's response to calls for compensation was careless given that the disease poses a threat, not only to the local food security but also to food security in the country," Kones said.
He said the bill will compel the government to compensate the affected farmers with free maize seeds and fertiliser. "I am sure the government has done enough research. The seeds we expect should be resistant to the disease which attacked the crops," Kones said. Speaking at Silibwet at the weekend, Kones said the ministry's official visits to the region were not enough.