Written by Protus Simiyu
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Managers of One Acre Fund in Bungoma County have been urged to stop harassing farmers who took loans from them in form of farm inputs.
The Director of Nzoia Sugar Company Bonny Ostula raised concern on the need for the managers to give farmers more time to re-organize themselves so that they can re-pay the loans.
Mt. Ostula disclosed that farmers from Bumula District who received farm inputs from One Acre Fund have vacated their homes while others living under fear after the managers threatened to auction their property having failed to re-pay the loans.
The director said Bumula District was affected by floods this year thus majority of farmers are expecting poor harvest despite the support from One Acre Fund.
“The managers should give farmers enough time to re-pay the loans because taking their property is not an amicable solution, we appreciate the support they are giving to farmers but they should not harass them in case they are unable to re-pay the loans within the given time period,” he said.
He appealed to the One Acre Fund managers to understand that farmers have not refused to re-pay the loans rather they are unable to do it now owing to economic hardships being experienced in the whole country.
Otsula advised that the opportune time for the farmers to re-pay the loans is during the harvesting season and not now saying majority of the farmers don’t have any other means of income generation apart from farming.
‘’It is sad that farmers are now hibernating in maize and sugarcane plantations fearing to be ambushed by One Acre Fund officers and their valuables taken away, this is a democratic society and matters must be handled in a sophisticated manner without using force,’’ Ostula urged.
In an exclusive interview with West Fm in Bungoma town, the Nzoia sugar director urged farmers in Bungoma County to advance and diversify their agriculture practices to increase their income generating base.
Farmers should not concentrate on one crop alone, in case of natural calamities, diversification will ensure that at least farmers have something to lean on.
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