The government’s plan to revamp its warehouses with eyes on the commodities exchange and implementing the receipting system is a major boost for the agriculture sector.
Both the exchange and the warehouse receipts — the latter giving farmers the much-needed collateral to secure loans — have been discussed for years but have hitherto remained mere wishes.
Small-scale farmers have rejected similar plans by private players and the National Cereals and Produce Board, citing many grey areas. That meant farmers were not comfortable with the proposed arrangements.
The two new proposals, if implemented successfully, will give farmers the muscle to negotiate for and get fair pricing for produce as opposed to endless complaints every harvest season when there is a glut. This will also ensure that middlemen will stop picking up the farm produce for a song as has been the trend in the past.
We urge the government to implement the project as planned since its multiplier effect will be huge, starting with the direct benefits to the farmers, who require right storage, adequate earnings and access to credit.
to raise production and improve Kenya’s chances of attaining the goals of food sufficiency and security.