NCPB set to start receiving maize from farmers on Wednesday

The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) is set to start buying maize on Wednesday at 2,500 shillings per 90 kilograms bag.

The announcement comes few days after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the price increase from Kshs 2,300 to Kshs 2,500 that the Cabinet had approved.

” I have directed the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture to authorize the National and Cereals Produce Board through the Strategic Food Reserve to immediately open in coordination with respective County governments, open buying centres and stores to receive maize from farmers across the country.  The Strategic Food Reserve has been authorized to purchase two (2) million, 90Kg bags of maize at KSh. 2,500 per bag.” Said the President
“Following various Government interventions and the good weather experienced in 2018, we have had a bumper harvest to the tune of 46 million bags.  In addition, there is about 2.5 million bags carried over from the 2017 harvest.  The Government will simultaneously release 1.7 million 90Kg bags of maize at Ksh. 1,600 and an additional 300,000 bags of animal feed at KSh. 1,400 per bag. It is clear that currently there is sufficient maize in the market selling at between KSh.1,700 and Ksh.1,800 per 90Kg per bag. With these interventions, I do not expect any changes in the existing price of Unga.” Added the President.
The president also called upon the investigative agencies to expedite verification process to ensure maize farmers are paid as soon as possible.

NCPB officials said on Monday the stores would open from Wednesday after the Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund gave the green light to buy the maize.

Farmers in the North Rift have been queuing at NCPB depots to deliver their maize.

They had on Monday issued a two-day ultimatum to the government to start buying maize or face demonstrations.

Many farmers said they were unhappy with the government’s offer but would only sell their maize to NCPB to avoid exploitation by brokers.

The government maintains that the new price was determined by market forces. National Food Strategic Reserve Board chairman Noah Wekesa said the Treasury had already released funds to buy maize.

  

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