The Star (Nairobi)

12 December 2012

Kenya: NCPB Runs Out of Cash to Buy Farmers' Maize

The National Cereals and Produce Board has run out of cash to buy maize after exhausting the Sh800 million released by the government.

The board's CEO Gideon Misoi however said they are talking to the government to release more cash for the purchase of the maize. "We are hoping that the government will give us extra cash so that we continue buying the maize," said Misoi.

Speaking to the Star on the phone yesterday, Misoi asked farmers to continue delivering the maize to the NCPB depots countrywide saying they will be paid as soon as the government releases the money.

He said the board is encouraging farmers to store their crop instead of selling it out to middle men at low prices. "The prices are likely to go up and farmers are advised to either store their produce with NCPB or at their own stores", said Misoi.

Farmers have argued that the Sh1.6 billion allocated to buy maize is inadequate because it can only buy a maximum of 600,000 bags of maize out the 17 million bags produced.

NCPB has already purchased 300,000 bags of maize worthy more than Sh900 million from farmers mostly in the Rift Valley region. The board is buying the maize at Sh3,000 per bag, the highest price in the market currently.

The deliveries are high in Eldoret, Kitale, Mois Bride and parts of the South Rift region. The Kenya Farmers Association said the government should release extra money to the NCPB to buy and store the maize.

Speaking in Eldoret yesterday, KFA director Kipkorir Menjo said the government can only help local farmers to produce more by purchasing the produce.

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