NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30 – A section of North Rift MPs are protesting against new stringent conditions set by the government for supplying maize to the National Cereals and Produce Board.
The MPs led by Soi MP Caleb Kositany and Endebess MP Robert Pukose regretted that the conditions are being used to frustrate small scale farmers who are stranded at the NCPB stores in Eldoret and Nakuru.
Under the new guidelines, farmers are required to fill out a serialized document giving personal details including names, identity card, Kenya Revenue Authority Personal Identification Number and telephone numbers, farm and land registration number, ward, sub-county, county and total maize acreage on own farm or leased land.
“As a matter of fact, most of maize farmers in North Rift have no title deeds. We strongly believe these conditions are meant to inhibit rather than stimulate food production in Kenya. This defeats the food sufficiency goal that the government has envisaged in the Big Four Agenda.”
“We demand that the NCPB stops these backward and archaic demands that would hinder food production. NCPB should buy maize without these primitive conditions,” Kositany said.
Pukose said that farming is a business and farmers are increasingly frustrated by the State’s failure to pay them promptly.
The government announced that the Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund (SFRTF) would buy two million bags of maize from farmers at Sh2,500 per 90-kilogramme bag.
The National Cereals and Produce Board however insists that vetting will see to it that only genuine farmers are allowed to deliver, blocking our unscrupulous traders who infiltrated the board last time.
The Board asked those who have queued in different NCPB depots across the country to leave, saying it does not recognise them unless they can prove their grain has not been imported.
According to the Board, 12 counties deliver maize including Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Kakamega, Migori, Elgeyo Marakwet, Laikipia, Kericho.
The SFRTF will determine the amount of maize each of the 12 devolved units will deliver.