The government yesterday finally bowed to pressure from farmers and increased maize prices to Sh3,000 per 90kg bag.
National Cereals and Produce Board managing director Gideon Misoi said the move to revert back to the higher price was arrived at after consultations by the ministries of Agriculture and Special Programmes.
This reverses an earlier directive by the NCPB to reduce maize prices to Sh2,800 per 90kg bag. The reduction angered maize farmers who protested in Edoret. The farmers met Agriculture minister Sally Kosgey who promised to intervene.
But yesterday, Misoi, in a statement, said the government has released an additional Sh300 million for the purchase of maize from farmers.
"The government has reviewed upwards the purchase price for maize under the Strategic Grain Reserves from Sh2,800 to Sh3,000 per bag," said a statement from Misoi.
He said the new prices will be effected immediately to sustain food security in the country. Misoi asked farmers to take advantage of the new prices and deliver maize to NCPB depots countrywide.
"We want farmers to deposit their maize at the Warehouse Receipting System which will help them to regulate maize prices in the market," said Misoi.
The release of the Sh300 million increases the amount released by the government to Sh800 million. NCPB spokesman Evans Wasike said they have received 200,000 bags of maize in all depots.
Kenya Farmers Association director Kipkorir Menjo said the reduction of maize prices by NCPB had caused the market prices for the produce to drop to less than Sh2,300 per bag in some areas.