President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Agricultural Ministry to increase the price at which they buy raw rice. 

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The farmers will now sell the rice at Sh85 per kilo which they initially sold at Sh45.

Addressing residents at Wang'uru stadium, Kirinyaga County on Saturday, President Kenyatta directed the Agricultural Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya to ensure raw rice prices are increased to help farmers to make a profit. 

Kenyatta promised farmers that the Kenya National Trading Corporation would buy the rice and distribute it to government institutions. The promise comes shortly after Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru highlighted the farmers' plight.

"Due to influx of cheap rice from Pakistan and invasion of Mwea Irrigation Scheme by brokers, our farmers have been suffering and they should be helped," Waiguru said while urging rice importation to be banned. 

The Kirinyaga County boss urged the head of state to step in before rice farmers lost hope. 

"Our farmers do not have a good market for their produce and they have been incurring heavy losses. They depend purely on rice farming to educate their children and meet other financial obligations and the government should come to their rescue," Ms Waiguru told President Kenyatta.

The president revealed that up to Sh0.5 billion had been allocated for rice purchase from local farmers. 

"From now onwards, farmers will receive Sh85 per kilo of paddy," announced the president. 

The head of state added that the government was committed to seeing that farmers no longer faced market challenges for their produce.

President Kenyatta also directed that Mwea Rice Mills be revived and subsidised fertilisers are made available to rice farmers.

Touching on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), Kenyatta called upon all to embrace it noting that, "BBI will bring peace and all Kenyans should back it."