KENYA – Kenya’s National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) is set to purchase maize from Kenyan farmers at a new price of US$24.57 (Kshs2500) from the previous price of Kshs2300 (US$22.61) per 90kg bag, reports Business Daily.
Strategic Food Reserve Fund (SFRF) had in November last year set the price as kshs 2300 with the new price coming as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to the produce board.
Farmers and lawmakers from the Rift Valley have been battling with the government to match the Sh3,200 (US$31.46) price offered to growers for the 2017 crop.
However, the government has also reduced the amount of maize it will buy to 2 million bags, down from 2.5 million announced in November last years.
Farmers and lawmakers from the Rift Valley have put pressure on the government to match the Sh3,200 price offered to growers for the 2017 crop rejecting the Sh2,300 per 90 kilogramme bag set by the Ministry of Agriculture terming it as too low to earn any profit
The board had however agreed to purchase at Sh3,200 per 90 kilogramme bag last year but suspended buying the produce after it exhausted funds.
The president also ordered that 1.7 million bags from the 2017 crop be release to the market at Sh1,600(US$15.73).
“With these interventions, I do not expect any changes in the existing price of flour. It is clear that there is sufficient maize in the market selling at between Sh1,700 (US$16.71) and Sh1,800(US$17.69) per bag,” Mr Kenyatta said.
Titus Maiyo, the NCPB Corporate affairs manager said that the board has been holding series of sensitisation seminars for its staff across the country in preparation to buy maize from farmers.
Maize prices in North Rift region have plummeted to as low as Sh1,400 a bag with some private millers have opening buying centres in the region purchasing the produce at between Kshs 1700 and 1800.
NCPB is the body that has been mandated to undertake procurement, storage, maintenance and management of Strategic Food Reserve and Famine Relief stocks on behalf of the government.