Farmers who delivered maize to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) will be paid Sh2.55 billion by mid-March, Agriculture secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has said.
The Cabinet secretary told MPs that the ministry had asked for more money through the supplementary budget to clear the debt owed to farmers.
Mr Kiunjuri said the NCPB had received 2,811,055 bags of maize from farmers all valued at Sh8.9 billion. The ministry has already paid Sh6.4 billion to farmers for their deliveries, Mr Kiunjuri said.
He added that the ministry expected to receive 1.5 million bags of maize from farmers but because of good prices offered, most farmers brought maize the board. He said the NCPB had received 800 bags of maize more than what it had expected.
“We’ve asked for more money through the supplementary budget and I want to assure farmers that they will be paid by mid-March.
“We have paid over 90 per cent of deliveries in good time,” Mr Kiunjuri told the National Assembly Committee on Agriculture.
The minister said the country recorded a shortfall of 15 million bags of maize due to severe drought and the effects of the fall armyworm.
Mr Kiunjuri told MPs that farmers produced only 36 million bags of maize compared to the annual consumption of 51 million bags.