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.