The Star (Nairobi)

20 November 2012

Kenya: Kuttuny Threatens Demo Over Poor Maize Prices

Cherangany MP Joshua Kuttuny has threatened to lead fresh demonstrations against the government over poor prices of maize. Kuttuny said the demonstrations on Thursday will comprise famers from Trans Nzoia and Uasin Gishu.

"We want to push the government to purchase maize at Sh4, 000. We are not for anything less than Sh3, 000," Kuttuny said. He was addressing his constituents at Motosiet health centre on Saturday when he intensified his campaigns to defend his parliamentary seat.

Kuttuny said he will also pressurise the government to allow famers sell their cereals outside the country. Maize farmers in Trans Nzoia have boycotted to take their cereals to National Cereals and Produce Board because of poor prices.

The farmers have resolved instead to sell their maize toprivate millers who are buying it at more than Sh2,800. The Star has learnt that although NCPB has promised to buy the maize at Sh2800 per 90kg bag, the farmer gets Sh2,600 after taxation and transport cost.

Kuttuny, who is a farmer said, NCPB price of sh.2800 per 90 kg bag is too low when farmers have used almost sh.3000 to produce a 90kg bag of maize.

"We used to buy fertilizer at sh.3000 after NCPB delayed the delivery of subsidized fertilizer, it really ironical to lower prices of maize" said Kuttuny.

Last week, NCPB managing director Gideon Misoi said the reduction in maize prices was guided by the current market situation. Misoi moreover advised farmers who are not in rush of selling the commodity to deliver their maize to NCPB und store it under warehousing receipting system.

"Under the WRS, we will be able to store and dry maize of our farmers at a minimal cost as they wait for the prices to behave" said Misoi. Early this month, farmers from some parts of North Rift region demonstrated to protest low maize prices.

Misoi however says there is enough money to purchase maize noting his organization has been allocated sh.500 million to buy maize. Most farmers have already finished harvesting.

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