A week after the NYS Scandal, another mega scandal has erupted and this time it has the Ministry of Agriculture on the spotlight. The scandal has elicited a huge amount of uproar about accountability and government expenditure.
The discussion has caused a frenzy among the media. Sharon Momanyi made it the “biggest story of the day” on the Big Story on KTN. Her show covered events from the press conference that was addressed by the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Mwangi Kiunjuri to a full briefing by Sophia Wanuna.
The show then had a full analysis of the NCPB mess and how it has got into the public limelight. She analysed how the problem came about from the importation of maize last year to the buying of cheap maize to Uganda which filled the strategic maize reserves in the country. this lead to some farmers failing to get a place to sell their produce and eventually the maize was bought from 8 farmers at the price of 1.9 Billion shillings.
The show hosted guests like Kipkorir Menjo, the Director of the Kenya Farmers and Planters Association, Soi MP Caleb Kositan and Carol Macharia of the Cereal Owners Association. The three represented a few factions of the agriculture stakeholders.
Kipkorir Menjo painted the picture representing the farmers. He articulated the problems that farmers have faced since the importation of Maize last year to now. He also pointed out the problems they had since they could not get the NCPB prices and hence some small scale farmers had to sell their produce at a cheaper price.
Caleb was brought in to talk about the measures that government is taking to make sure that this does not happen. Though he did not represent the Agriculture ministry he did have some good talking points. He was able to make the conversation about how to make sure the Agriculture ministry scandal ever happen again.
Carol Macharia, the Cereal Owners Association Communications Manager, was there to discuss market and how it is hard for farmers to get good pricing outside NCPB. She was articulate and the discussion was able to bring in what the picture is for stakeholders in the cereals field.
The most important thing is that the national discussion started. Sharon was able to have a sober conversation. On that I would give her a 9/10 however a member of NCPB or Agriculture ministry should have been brought in to tackle this issue together with the members there.