The County Government of Siaya through its Agriculture Department has asked owners of private tractors offering services in Siaya to ensure they pay for KShs. 5,000.00 annual business license fee to boost County revenue and avoid operating in the County illegally.
According to Agriculture Chief Officer Mr. Charles Siso, the license fee goes towards County revenue accounts and is a creation of The County Government of Siaya Finance Act 2019.
“The revenue stream is not targeting tractors from Rift-Valley Region as claimed by certain famers from Siaya but any farmer owning private tractors in the region and using such tractor for commercial purposes,” said Siso adding that private tractors must adhere to the laid down procedures for them to enjoy better working environment.
His remarks comes only a day after famers in Rarieda sub-county decried the rate at which tractor owners who have been ploughing for them at subsidized rates are being frustrated by the County Government of Siaya administration.
Led by Mr. Ochieng Mito, the farmers revealed that they have been using the tractors from Rift Valley because they are cheap and reliable but they have noticed a trend where they are being mistreated by the County Government Enforcement Officers who usually demand up to over KShs. 5,000.00 from them.
They regretted that officials were subjecting private tractors to all sort of harassment and intimidation yet tractors purchased by the County Government of Siaya are nowhere to help them.
The farmer stated that the tractor owners from Rift Valley were being harassed to an extent that their ploughs are confiscated if they cannot part with the said amount, yet the County Government of Siaya has no capacity to plough all the farms in the county.
Mr. Mito has therefore demanded explanation from the County Government of Siaya as to why that was happening, noting that there is no way that the tractor owners can be mistreated and intimidated when the County Government has no capacity to serve its farmers.