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Waiguru asks National Government to sell 55pc stake in Mwea Rice Mills to farmers

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has asked the National Government to allow rice farmers to buy the Mwea Rice Mills (MRM) when it is offered for privatisation.

Waiguru said because farmers own 45 percent of MRM, it is only logical that they are given the first priority to buy the 55 percent national government’s stake in the facility.

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The Governor said the County government will help the farmers in acquiring the National Government shares so that they can run the factory.

Speaking during Jamhuri day celebrations at Good Samaritan Secondary School grounds in Mutithi, Mwea, she said the government does not run businesses and therefore MRM factory should be sold to the rice farmers.

“In so doing, the farmers will operate and manage the mill to be a profit-making venture, providing an avenue for the farmers to gain economic independence. As a county, we will make sure that any agreements done, will leave our rice farmers more empowered and not feeling disenfranchised,” Waiguru said. 

The governor accused a section of local politicians of using the MRM privatisation issue as a 2027 campaign tool instead offering advise for farmers to place themselves strategically to buy the facility.

She asked farmers to organise themselves and join rice cooperatives so as to pull resources together and buy the facility.

Waiguru said the farmers stand to reap more by supporting the initiative by the government to make the rice mills self-sustaining and a profit-making facility.

“It is, therefore, my duty to advise the farmers to place themselves strategically to take up the offer to buy the government shares when that time comes,” Waiguru added. 

The Council of Governors (COG) chair urged Kenyans to continue supporting President William Ruto’s efforts towards recovery of the economy.

Waiguru said the country is on the right path and soon it will be out of the woods. 

While using an analogy, Waiguru likened the country’s economy to a patient admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) whose transition through the HDU, the general ward and eventually recovery is normally painstakingly long, but in the end, the results are seen when the patient is discharged from hospital after full recovery.

“We are well aware of the high cost of living occasioned by high taxation; however, I assure you that we are on the right path and soon we will be out of the woods. I encourage all of us to have faith that the Kenya Kwanza will shortly, get this country to its growth path again,” the Governor said. 

To control the Golden Apple Snail that has been ravaging rice crop at the Mwea irrigation scheme, Waiguru said the county in collaboration with the national government is working around the clock to get another pesticide that can eliminate the new migratory rice pest.

She said a pesticide used in pilot programme meant to control the spread of the snail had not been effective.

The Governor asked farmers to be more patient as researchers look for another pesticide that can eliminate the invasive snail.

“This pilot programme was not very successful and therefore we have gone back to the drawing board and in collaboration with the National Government, our researchers are working around the clock to get a cure for the snails,” she said.

To support Kirinyaga coffee farmers effectively participate in the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE), Waiguru said the County Government will support Kirinyaga Slopes Coffee Brokerage Company Limited with Ksh.50 million to construct warehouses for aggregating coffee.

Waiguru said the support will help boost the capacity of the company so that its able to handle all the coffee produce from farmers.

The Governor said that Kirinyaga has been one of the fastest-growing counties under devolution and expressed her commitment to the implementation of her “Mountain Cities Blue Print 2032.”

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru

 

 

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