Waiguru asks the national government to sell its 55 percent stake in Mwea Rice Mills to farmers.

Mwea Rice Mills. Photo~MRM

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

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

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru joins other leaders in celebrating Jamhuri day

The governor accused a section of local politicians of using the MRM privatization issue as a 2027 campaign tool instead offering advice for farmers to place themselves strategically to buy the facility. She asked farmers to organize themselves and join rice cooperatives so as to pull resources together and buy the facility. She added that 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,” opined Waiguru.

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 since the one used in the pilot programme meant to control the spread of the snail had not been effective.

“This pilot programme was not very successful and therefore we have gone back to the drawing board and in collaboration with the National Government and our researchers are working around the clock to get a cure for the snails,” she said. Meanwhile, Governor Waiguru said the county government will support the Kirinyaga coffee farmers to effectively participate in the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE). Towards this, she promised to support Kirinyaga Slopes Coffee Brokerage Company Limited with Kshs 50 million to construct warehouses for aggregating coffee.

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