President Uhuru Kenyatta has waived up to Sh1.5 billion in loans owed to the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) by farmers in Kajiado, Narok and Baringo counties.
In a statement, State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu says the move is part of a broader agenda to ease financial pressure on farmers across the country to promote renewed investment in the agricultural sector.
The loans were taken to support wheat, sorghum and livestock farming, but unpredictable weather led to heavy farm losses and farmers were unable to repay.
“The President directed the National Treasury, working with AFC, to ensure that farmers are handed back their title deeds to ease pressure on them and to allow them to take other investment decisions,” reads the statement in part.
At the same time, farmers will be handed back their title deeds which AFC had been holding onto as collateral for the loans.
Esipisu further said that it is expected for the President to offer a similar waiver to Samburu’s distressed farmers when he visits the county in the coming days.
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The waiver is the latest in unprecedented relief the President has ordered over the last three months for distressed farmers as part of his agenda to bolster agriculture.
Past waivers include the Sh475 million for Meru dairy farmers owed to government and the Sh25 million loan waivers to Bunyala Fishermen Cooperative Society owed to the AFC.
He also waived a debt of Sh478 million for Coffee farmers’ Saccos, and Sh1.7 billion on Stabex funds through the Cooperative Bank of Kenya in the coffee growing zones of Central and Eastern Kenya and Kisii among others.