Waiguru seeks for the control of cheap rice

Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru  in her re-election campaign trail within the vote  rich Mwea  Sub-County .

Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru has called on the government to control importation

of cheap rice in order to shield local rice growers from unfair trade competition.

The governor who was addressing a campaign  rally at  Kiorugari and Kombo-ini  villages in Mwea on Wednesday said  despite the region producing most of the rice in the country, rice farmers have remained impoverished as a result of lack of market for their produce.

She said  rice imports from other countries has led to diminishing prices of the crop forcing

farmers to dispose their commodity at a loss  due to the already flooded market with the cheap imports.

“Importation of rice should not be allowed until all the   crop  produced in Mwea and other schemes

in the country is depleted”, she said, noting that the influx of imported commodity  from Asian country is hurting farmers.

The imported rice is normally sold at a cheaper price compared to Mwea pishori rice which has

always been in high demand but unscrupulous traders have found a way of blending the imported

rice using the Mwea produce  to give it the much loved and preferred  aroma by consumers .

The governor said  imported rice should only be allowed into the country to bridge the gap

when there is shortage.

She also called for the abolishment of irrigation water tariffs which she said increases the cost of

rice production at the expense of the farmers within Mwea.

“Implementation of the new Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) tariffs must be

Stopped and water given freely to the farmers since they are tax payers. Besides, the new Thiba

Dam has increased irrigation water and therefore it doesn’t make sense that anyone should

increase water prices” she  stressed .

If implemented, the new water tariff could see rice farmers pay Ksh. 15,000 per acre of rice, a

cost that rice farmers are also opposed to as they say will drive them out of the practice.

At the same time Waiguru who is defending her gubernatorial seat accused opponents of

destroying her campaign posters saying that she will not engage in acts of lawlessness like

pulling down posters for her opponents or engaging in violence.

She said that her campaign  mantra ‘Wira Warie’ which translates to ‘Let  her achievement speak’ was

resonating well with voters since they are beneficiaries of her development initiatives andprojects that are visible across the county.

She also asked voters to reject both Azimio and independent candidates since they have no touch

with the common man.

“The reason I am asking you to vote for UDA is because the bottom up economic model seeks to

address problems affecting the common man unlike our competitors who want to continue with

the trickle down model which focuses on a few people at the top” Waiguru explained.

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