Politics and policy
Money set aside for grain too little, says KFA
Posted Monday, June 18 2012 at 19:29
The Kenya Farmers Association has criticised the Budget read last week for not allocating enough money towards buying grain.
KFA director Kipkorir Menjo said the Sh1.6 billion set aside for buying grain for the strategic reserve would expose farmers to exploitation by middlemen.
“The money can hardly purchase a quarter of the harvest that we are expecting this year,” said Mr Menjo.
At the current National Cereals and Produce Board price of Sh3,000 per 90-kilogramme bag of maize, the allocation can only buy 500,000 bags of the grain, he said.
KFA expects this year’s maize output in the North Rift alone to be 12 million bags, while the ideal strategic reserve should be eight million bags.
Kenya produces about 30 million bags of maize each year and its strategic reserve has held three million bags. There are 2.8 million bags of maize in stock.
Mr Menjo said that the government had reneged on an agreement that was reached in Maputo in 2003 requiring States to commit at least 10 per cent of their budgets towards agriculture.
Trans-Nzoia county farmer Fredrick Muhorela said the government should have provided sufficient funds for buying maize to guard against hunger.