Nelly Bassily | April 28, 2008
Kenyan farmers forced to abandon their fields due to post-election violence will soon get help re-establishing their crops.The Kenyan government has announced that it will spend 1.7 billion Kenyan shillings (approximately 27 million American dollars or 17 million Euros) to provide these farmers with seeds and fertilizer.
Government funds will be given to the National Cereals and Produce Board. The board will purchase seeds and fertilizer and distribute them to farmers for free.
In the weeks following the country’s election, more than 1,000 people were killed and some 300,000 were forced to flee their homes. The Rift Valley province, known as Kenya’s breadbasket, was hit hard. Farmers were unable to harvest maize or plant new crops.
Even after peace returned, some farmers expressed reluctance to purchase seeds and fertilizer, as the cost of these inputs has risen sharply and rainfall patterns are uncertain. They feared that they would not earn a return on their investment. The government program should ease these financial concerns.