, NAIROBI, Kenya, June 2 – The Minister for Agriculture Sally Kosgei maintains that the government will not revise the plan to buying aflatoxin contaminated maize at Sh1,000 per 90 kg bag.
She urged the affected farmers to be patient as the government prepares to purchase and dispose of the laced maize.
She cautioned them not to sell the contaminated grain to the public, and further called on millers not to buy maize directly from farmers.
“The maize which is bad is Sh1,000 per bag and the other one is Sh1,500. There is also machinery that we have in place to buy the grain from farmers,” the Minister said.
“This time around, there are institutions involved like NCPB, Provincial Administration and Special Programmes,” she added.
The minister said that once the contaminated maize was collected, it would be disposed of by the Ministry of Public Health.
“That maize belongs to the Ministry of Public Health, for them to be secure. Our first effort is to take it away from farmers because if we don’t people will eat it,” she pointed out.
“Our responsibility as a government is to ensure that nobody is going to die from eating bad food,” she said.
The National Cereals and Produce Board is currently undergoing restructuring to improve its efficiency.
The Agriculture Minister called on the Treasury to increase funding to the Board so that the streamlining could be hastened.
Speaking during a press conference on Wednesday, the Minister affirmed the government’s commitment to work with farmers to ensure there is no contamination of maize again.
“We are already taking care of the farmers. For now we must encourage them to surrender this maize and I think they will do so,” she stressed.
Last Month, Prime Minister Raila Odinga directed NCPB to buy the maize suspected to contain aflatoxin to ensure that it was not consumed by Kenyans.