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July 17, 2011

Kenya flower farms accused of paying poor wages

by George Murage

The chairman of the parliamentary committee on agriculture, John Mututho, has lashed at flower farmers for paying their workers poorly.

Mututho accused the farmers of being too profit-minded, adding that they were to blame for the high poverty levels in Naivasha. "The farmers are making millions in terms of profit but the flower farm workers are among the most poorly paid in this country."

The MP he was in the process of drafting a bill to which would address the plight of workers in the horticulture sector. "A bouquet of flower goes for over Sh10,000 in Europe but workers in Naivasha are getting less than Sh4,000 per month,"

He supported calls that workers be rewarded appropriately for their work but was quick to dismiss calls for mass protests. Mututho attributed the current status of Lake Naivasha to pollution by some errant farmers who were releasing chemicals from their farms.

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