DP Ruto's Delayed Promise Lands Farmers in CRB Blacklist

  • A photo collage of disgruntled farmers and Deputy President William Ruto speaking at a past event The Star
  • Farmers in Tana River County are angry after the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) demanded a payment of Ksh67.5 million from Bura Irrigation Scheme members. 

    They particularly protested that Deputy President William Ruto had promised the government would write off the loan which never happened. 

    The declaration was made during the 2017 election campaigns when he visited the region. 

    Disgruntled farmers from Bura Irrigation Scheme protesting on 15/05/19

    “We do not understand why we are being asked to pay the loan despite the fact that Deputy President William Ruto directed the AFC to cancel the debt during the 2017 General Election campaigns. 

    "The issue is really frustrating us and we do not know where to start,” Milka Samuel, one of the farmers told Nation.

    More than 2,500 farmers claim they have now been blacklisted with the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) over the loans. 

    Another farmer who had enquired with AFC was surprised to find out that the government had not fulfilled the promise. 

    “We are shocked by the AFC move. We have spoken with the manager in charge of the bank regarding the loan and to our surprise, there was no written commitment by the government to pay the loan. It was just a roadside announcement,” commented Macharo Mudi, one of the farmers.

    The CRB listing put the farmers in a tight spot because made it difficult for them to secure loans from other banks to finance their livelihoods. 

    In the letters seen by the Nation and signed by AFC Bank Bura Branch Manager Jackson Haro, the farmers have been asked to pay between Ksh 24,300 to more than Ksh 70,000 depending on the loan that one took, failure to which their assets will be sold.

    A maize plantation on Bura Irrigation Scheme in Tana River County