Agriculture ministry seeks Kshs. 18.1B from debtors to drive NCPB restructure

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has told Members of Parliament that cash required to restructure the National Cereals and Produce Board(NCPB) will be raised through outstanding debt owed to the board by the Government and various state agencies which amounts to Kshs 18.1 billion.

Appearing before the Agriculture Committee on behalf of the cabinet secretary, Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary Anne Nyaga told the committee that the ongoing restructuring which creates two other divisions; the National Food Reserve and the NCPB Trading is estimated to cost Kshs 17.7 billion.

CAS Nyaga has said, Kshs 7.6 billion is already up for payment following the verification by the Cabinet Subcommittee, with the balance to be paid once a technical review is completed.

However, recovery of the debt is expected to drag, a move which is likely to put breaks on the reforms without immediate exchequer intervention.

“The delay in payment of the funds is stalling the reform commitment which require funding to achieve,” CAS Nyaga warns.

According to agriculture ministry, recruitment of professional staff to support the two newly created NCPB divisions and hosting of the Food Balance Sheet Committee (FBSC) – a body which collects data on food supply to inform the board’s decision, will cost 132.7 million.

Kshs 25 million has been earmarked for human capital and restructuring and suitability vetting for staff of the new entities.

Infrastructure repair, rehabilitation of facilities under Warehouse Receipt System in order to revamp NCPB commercial activities is estimated to cost Kshs 1.87 billion.

The board is also yet to clear Kshs 6.7 billion loan it owes the Kenya Commercial Bank for fertilizer subsidy programme.

The NCPB reforms according to the ministry, will help the country achieve food and nutrition security through sustainable management of food reserve, respond faster to emergencies, diversify food reserves, enhance food safety and increase earnings to farmers.

  

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