As farmers embark on harvesting of cereals in various parts of Tharaka and Igambangombe sub counties of Tharaka Nithi County, the county governor Muthomi Njuki has been criticized over Tharaka missing among Ndengu and sorghum farming areas in National value chain support program despite the governor serving as the chair of agriculture committee in the council of governors.
Speaking to News Flash 254, Wilson Ngugi Diego and an aspiring Tharaka MP termed the issue as a true reflection of poor leadership both in the constituency and county level by the leaders elected in the respective positions.
“I strongly condemn the non-committal of our leaders both in the constituency and the county level towards ensuring that Tharaka People who majorly depends on Ndengu and Sorghum farming for their economic survival are benefiting from their farm yields through government support program like we are witnessing in other counties,’’ Diego said.
Further, Diego says that when the cabinet secretary for agriculture Hon.Peter visited the highland parts of the county Njuki took it seriously to give the grievances of the coffee growers in the county but he has remained mum over the issue of the two cereals.
“When Peter Munya the cabinet secretary for agriculture recently toured the coffee and tea growing areas in the county we saw the governor giving the grievances of coffee farmers to the C.S, but surprisingly the same governor has remained silent as ndengu and sorghum farmers from Tharaka miss out from the list of areas that farm the same,’’ he told News Flash 254.
His words have been echoed by the diplomat from Tharaka Mr. Sabastian Njagi Mwangangi who has termed the issue to be as a result of failed leadership by the current elected leaders among them being Tharaka Mp Gitonga Murugara and governor Njuki.
“It is very unfortunate to see Tharaka part of Tharaka Nithi county being excluded from counties that farm Ndengu and sorghum yet we have an Mp representing us at the national level and the governor who chairs agriculture committee in C.O.G.It means that our leaders have failed in their responsibilities and therefore do not deserve the positions again,’’ said Sabastian.
Towards helping Tharaka sorghum farmers get a better market for their farm yields, Diego says he has been organizing with United Nations on how the organization can be buying sorghum from Tharaka which can be processed and used to feed refugees in their camps.
He revealed that their representatives have already been sent to Mukothima to assess the quantity of the produce coming from Tharaka and therefore he is awaiting their feedback on the same.
The government of Kenya through the ministry of agricultural has rolled out the E-voucher input management program under the national value chain support program spread across 25 counties to help farmers access wide range of agricultural inputs through a national E-voucher subsidy program.
The program intends to benefit 1.4 million farmers in 25 counties engaging in coffee, maize, sorghum, green grams, rice and Irish potatoes.
Tharaka and Igambangombe parts of Tharaka Nithi County who farms sorghum and green grams are lamenting being locked out the program with only Kitui and Makueni counties being listed as the counties that farm green grams. On the other hand, Homabay, Isiolo, Wajir, and Turkana have been listed as sorghum farming counties.
The concerned farmers have now been left with unanswered questions on their fate towards ensuring they benefit from the farming of the cereals like other counties with the two leaders calling upon the concerned elected leaders starting from governor Njuki to chip in and settle the matter.