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Today, I spoke to a policeman who is also a farmer in Busia (where his family lives). He took some time to educate me about the challenges that we have for #food4Kenya and agriculture. These are some of the things that he told me.
He told me that he has in store 200 bags of maize that he is unable to sell because @NCPB_KE is taking too little maize at bad prices. "They want to take my maize at Sh2300, which is just my cost of production. How is that business? How do I pay back the loan I took" #Food4Kenya
While we spoke, he called a friend of his from Uasin Gishu who is a larger scale farmer. Kirwa, the friend, has 8,000 bags of maize in his stores. "@NCPB_KE is only taking about 2 lorries per farmer and even for what they have taken, they don't pay on time!" #Food4Kenya
"You see," my cop friend said, "Right now it's the season to prepare land for next season. Most farmers including me, are only preparing 30% at most of their land. Go to Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western and see! Why should we plant if there's no hope?"#Food4Kenya
The situation is worse with Sugarcane. "I have a miller who has come to my farm, prepared it, planted and all they require for me is to 'palilia' and add fertiliser. But I won't add any fertiliser because it will just be a loss!" My cop friend continued. #Food4Kenya
The challenge as he sees it is:
1. We treat farmers like people who need charity from government rather than businesses that the country needs to thrive. Politicians treat farmers like stupid people. Do you like paying more for food? Why are you playing with food?
The challenge as he sees it is:
2. Farmers are not organised. You never hear these things happening around tea & coffee. When farmers are organised, they will engage with government a lot better. They have a voice. Saa hii, we are just ignored. #Food4Kenya
The challenge as he sees it is:
3. The NGOs that work in farming are disconnected from the reality of farming. How will you know our challenges if we are only seen as beneficiaries of your badly mzungu-designed programs? #Food4Kenya can't be solved from London and USA!
3 (cont): "You see, NGOs are staffed by Nairobians who have gone to university but who have never held a jembe in their lives. Worse yet, they looked down on agriculture. If you don't know where the shoe pinches you can't fix it!" #Food4Kenya
The challenge as he sees it is:
4. "Kenyans don't know how rich farming can make them. They don't realise that Kenya can feed itself completely (Balanced-diet mzima!) and even export to other countries. Be serious & you can grow managu in Nairobi and make money!" #Food4Kenya
The challenge as he sees it is:
5. "Our leaders are not visionary but we focus too much on them instead of strengthening our vision so that our leaders see what we want." #Food4Kenya

Here, I was snapping my fingers in agreement.
His parting shot as he was leaving me was, "Wacheni kuwa too smart... kujifanya mumesoma sana. Farming is not hard to fix, people just have to stop stealing and treat farmers like grown ups!" #Food4Kenya
I wonder if this is the experience of other farmers? Tag a farmer that you know and let's have them tell us their story. Call one up and tell us what they say - kwanza watu wa Rift Valley, speak up, #Food4Kenya
@wambuijl @simonwachira @cmochu @bcharagu We have talked about this many times... See thread.
@KopepDabugat See this thread... It relates a lot to our work on #Food4Kenya
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