3 November 2012

Kenya: Farmers Protest Maize Price Cut

Farmers demonstrated in Eldoret against the decision by the National Cereals and Produce Board to cut maize prices. Representatives from the Kenya Farmers Association, Cereal Growers Association and the Kenya National Farmers Union led the Thursday protests.

Last week NCPB announced it will buy maize at Sh2,800 per bag from Sh3,000 announced two months ago. The prices of wheat have also dropped from more than Sh3,600 per bag to less than Sh3,000.

"We want the government to address our concerns or we will paralyse operations in this town so that our cries are heard," said KFA director Kipkorir Menjo. NCPB managing director Gideon Misoi said he will meet the farmers representatives to discus the matter.

Last week Misoi explained why they cut the maize prices. "It is a decision we had to make because of the trends in the sector. We cannot continue to push prices up while those in the market are low," he said.

Misoi said the prices may drastically drop because of excess supply in the market. "Maize farmers will now play a role in determining the prices of the commodity because they are the ones who know when and how they want to sell their produce," he said.

"The only way farmers can control the prices is by storing more than half of the 40 million bags of the maize to be harvested under the Warehouse Receipting System system so that the market is not saturated."

Misoi, however, said the new NCPB price is still the highest in the country and in the region.

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