KENYA – The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has bought 2.7 million bags of maize from farmers, the highest ever in one season.

Agriculture Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe said the NCPB bought 2.3 million bags of maize after the government released Sh6 billion last year for the exercise.

This comes amid protests from farmers in the North Rift over delays in paying them for maize delivered at NCPB depots.

“NCPB has so far purchased over 2.7 million 90 kilogramme bags from farmers, which is the highest that it has ever bought in a single season,” he said.

Dr Lesiyampe said that he was not aware of the government owing the farmers money.

NCPB managing director Newton Terer said the government owes farmers Sh3 billion, as it pays Sh3, 200 for a 90 kilogramme bag.

Millers pay about Sh3, 000 for the same amount while middlemen offer framers as low as Sh2, 000.

The government is buying the grain to replenish the strategic food reserve which is required to have a minimum of three million bags at any given time.

Business Daily