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Kenya: Dairy Farmers' Land Grabbed

27 March 2007

KENYA - Livelihoods of more than 4,000 dairy farmers in Busia and Teso districts are at stake after the grabbing of land belonging to their co-operative society.

Led by their chairman, Mr Titus Wanzala and his deputy John Obayi, the farmers asked Livestock Development minister Joseph Munyao to address the issue after receipt of a quit notice from a private developer.

"We have been operating the Busia dairy farmer's co-operative society since 1974.

"We were surprised to get the notice that the land had been allocated to another person and lease issued," they said.

The land was used as milk collection centre.

Speaking to journalists in Busia Town, the livestock keepers said they risked losing a Dutch investor who had promised to establish a milk processing plant in Mumias District.

Busia dairy co-operative society was earmarked to be a milk collection centre for the two districts.

"Most of the farmers rely on dairy farming as the source of income in enabling them educate their children. We may be unable to move forward and pay fees for our children," they said.

Mr Wanzala said the society has been paying Busia council rents and rates for the land since it acquired it in 1974.

The rents and rates amount to Sh150,000 with an interest rate of 14 percent, the chairman said.

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Source: allAfrica.com


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