AFC gives farmers more time to pay loans, says no write-offs

Monday June 10 2019

AFC board chairman Franklin Bett

AFC board chairman Franklin Bett speaks during a training for farmers from Laikipia and neighbouring counties in Nanyuki town over the weekend. He said that the corporation will not write off loans advanced to farmers but will instead them more time to clear. PHOTO | STEVE NJUGUNA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

STEVE NJUGUNA
By STEVE NJUGUNA
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The Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) has said it will not write off loans advanced to farmers but will instead give them more time to clear them.

AFC board chairman Franklin Bett noted that weather uncertainties in most parts of the county have led to farmers incurring huge loses and thus are unable to repay the loans within the stipulated timelines.

Mr Bett spoke in Nanyuki town during a training for farmers from Laikipia and the neighbouring counties which he said was aimed at building capacity and enhance farmers’ performance in agriculture with the view to linking them to markets as well as financial services.

“This training programme will help boost the livelihoods of the people by empowering them to be more productive. This will go in line with alleviating poverty and create more employment across the country,” said Mr Bett.

BAD WEATHER

Speaking during the training, former National Assembly Speaker Francis ole Kaparo supported the move by AFC to defer the loans repayment.

He noted that at times, crops and livestock are affected by bad weather and farmers are unable to pay in time.

But Mr Kaparo wondered why Laikipia County was side-lined by the national government when classifying counties in need of relief food.

“Laikipia borders Isiolo, Baringo and Samburu which are in the same ecosystem and we are wondering why we were side-lined among,” said Mr Kaparo.

Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi, who attended the event, urged farmers to approach agriculture as a business, adding that they should embrace irrigation.

The county boss said that in a period of two years, Laikipia County has irrigated 3,750 hectares of land, up from 250 hectares.