The government will not privatise the National Cereals and Produce Board. "That is a different process that has to be approved by Parliament. We are to set restructure NCPB to streamline its operations," said CEO Gideon Misoi.
He said they have set out to identify a consultant who will help restructure the board adding that farmers will be consulted on the process.
Under the plan, Misoi said, the board will review the funding of its operations. "For three years, the board has been performing very well to help farmers increase food production but we want to perform even better," said the MD.
There have been proposals that the NCPB be split into two by the government in the restructuring. The plan is to separate the board's government services like handling of relief food and strategic grain reserves, from its commercial activities.
The consultant to be hired will look at the board's operations and advise how best it can be modernised. Misoi said the restructuring was aimed at enabling the NCPB to better manage its mandate in the agricultural sector.
The board's subsidised fertiliser programme has enabled farmers reduce the costs of production and the board is looking at ways of sustaining the programme.
Cheranganyi MP Joshua Kutuny and farmers had expressed fears that the government plans to privatise the board a move, they said, that will put it the hands of few people who will frustrate farmers.
The MP said he feared NCPB prices will be controlled by the "rich" and many small-scale farmers who form the largest number of farmers in Kenya will be at a disadvantage. Misoi has visited all parts of the country to educate farmers on the operations of the NCPB.