NCPB opens stores, state releases Sh3 billion - Beaking Kenya News

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Thursday, 31 December 2020

NCPB opens stores, state releases Sh3 billion

 

The government has released Sh3 billion to the opened NCPB for maize purchase at Sh2,500 per 90kg bag.

Farmers, however, reject the price at Rift Valley stores, demanding more than Sh3000 per bag.

Only a handful of deliveries have been made as farmers wait for better prices. They say Sh3,000 will allow them to make some profit

The farmers led by director of the Kenya Farmers Association Kipkorir Menjo met at the NCPB depot in Eldoret to discuss the maize marketing problems.

The meeting was attended by chairman of Parliament's Agriculture Committee Silas Tiren, the MP for Moiben. 

“We have heard farmers' complaints about maize prices and we will organize a meeting with the President to ask him to intervene and increase the NCPB price so that farmers can make some profits" Tiren said.

He said farmers had a bumper harvest this year and the government should offer them a better price, which will force other buyers to also raise prices.

The NCPB expects to buy more than 1 million bags of maize from the farmers as part to help replenish its Strategic Grain Reserves.

The state had planned to roll out of the Warehouse Receipting System but the plan has faltered and will not be used due to delays in passing enabling legisltation.

Despite more than 12 NCPB stores having been approved for use by farmers under the WRS, no maize has been delivered under the system. It is expected to be used at some point next year

The WRS Board led by chairperson Jane Ngige was in Eldoret, Kitale and Nakuru for meetings with farmers last month but no clear way forward was found on how the system will be applied.

The board will  come up with legislation for WRS which will be subjected to public participation before approval and roll out.

“So many issues are still at discussion including legislation or rules that will guide the WRS. For example farmers want to know the minimum amount of maize that can be kept under WRS and for how long among other issues," Menjo said.

He said the government may have to implement WRS in phases because most farmers, especially small-scale growers prefer cash on delivery.

“Large-scale farmers can store maize for some time but small ones have immediate needs and don't want to store maize, Menjo said.

Under the new system, farmers will be allowed to store their produce in certified stores. They will be issued with receipts of ownership the can use as collateral for loans and other financial assistance as they await better prices.

Ngige and her team say the new system will help deal with problems of  marketing and wastage. It's part of a new system to improve productivity and has worked well other countries, including India and South Africa.

She said the council will help farmers deal with the wastage every year during storage and marketing.

NCPB managing director Joseph Kimote has said they have sufficient facilities used to ensure success of the new system.

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