The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has announced that it will only purchase maize from legally registered cooperatives and farmers’ groups.
The board also said that the list of registered individual farmers being developed by counties through a rigorous process will be forwarded to the Agriculture ministry for inclusion in the national register.
“The application forms must be stamped by two county officers who shall provide their mobile numbers and specimen signatures to respective NCPB depots/silo managers for due diligence and authentication of the farmers,” says the board in a statement by Corporate Affairs Manager Rose Andaje.
The ministry introduced tough vetting measures to block brokers from selling produce to the board.
The board said farmers will be verified and quantities of maize offered for sale must commensurate with the size of acreage under the crop.
It added that farmers in Eldoret will sell twice in a week to ensure efficiency after maize farmers began to deliver their produce.
The board also dismissed claims that it sold bad maize to the Samburu County government.
The county government recently declared the maize bought from NCPB unfit for human consumption.
NOT BAD MAIZE
“The statement is not true and we want to assure Kenyans that we have put in place measures to ensure that food in government stores is well preserved,” said the board.
Meanwhile, maize farmers are profiting from the price rivalry between NCPB and private millers as they rush to purchase the crop due to anticipated shortage caused by declined yields this season.
While the government has increased the price of maize to Sh3,000 down from Sh2,300 per 90kg bag, some private millers and middlemen have raised the prices from Sh2,400 to Sh2,800.
Maize deliveries to NCPB have been boosted by the provision of additional Sh6.5 billion generated from the sale of old stock.
Moiben MP Silas Tiren said the additional financial allocation will enable farmers to deliver their produce at competitive rates.
“Measures have been put in place to ensure that only genuine farmers deliver their produce to the NCPB stores,” said Mr Tiren.
According to Agriculture CS Willy Bett, farmers will have to show proof that they planted maize delivered at the NCPB stores in order to benefit from the new prices.