Farmers in Uasin Gishu County expressed opposition after the government resolved to slash the quantity of maize they can supply to the National Cereals and Produce Board saying it would expose them to exploitation by middlemen.
In a circular to NCPB depository, the Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund said the county farmers could only supply 328,610 bags and not 716,802 as had been declared before.
The Fund also allowed the Agricultural Development Corporation and Galana Kulalu to deliver 170,000 bags to the cereals board.Senior NCPB managers cite logistical challenges hence the delay of purchase of maize two weeks after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s declaration to the board.
Trans Nzoia County will supply 329,610 bags of maize to the board, up from 282,610, Elgeyo Marakwet County will supply 71,334 bags instead of 47,555, West Pokot will sell 51,526 instead of 48,677, while the quota from Bungoma raised from 224,091 to 237,270 bags, in the reviewed
Nakuru will supply 146,029 bags, Narok (155,934), Nandi (151,512) and Kakamega (118,675). Every village is also expected to deliver just 100 bags of maize to NCPB stores.
“We will adhere to the new guidelines,” NCPB corporate affairs manager Titus Maiyo said.
The board capped the purchase of 400 bags at Sh 1 million to rein in traders and large scale farmers accused of misusing the system at the expense of ordinary maize growers. The farmers are required to be cleared by a vetting committee at ward level before delivering their maize to the board. This has led to many farmers queuing to deliver their maize to the board stores in the Rift Valley to seek clearance from the vetting panels.
“What is the point of the government reducing the amount of maize genuine farmers can sell to NCPB, only to favor State agencies,” Kenya Farmers Association director Kipkorir Menjo asked.
Moiben Mp Silas Tiren held a ‘catastrophe’ meeting with the NCPB management. The meeting resolved to hurry the vetting and buy maize from farmers.