News

Boost for cereal farmers as drying costs slashed

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Workers at the National Cereals and Produce Board, Eldoret depot. FILE PHOTO | NMG

WhatsApp Image 2020-09-22 at 13.20.40
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Summary

  • Cereal growers have received a major boost after the government slashed the cost of drying the grains to cushion them from post-harvest losses.
  • This comes amid the State’s plan to operationalse the Warehouse Receipt System (WRS) where farmers will wait longer before receiving payment for their produce.

Cereal growers have received a major boost after the government slashed the cost of drying the grains to cushion them from post-harvest losses.

This comes amid the State’s plan to operationalse the Warehouse Receipt System (WRS) where farmers will wait longer before receiving payment for their produce.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the National Cereal and Produce Board (NCPB) to open its silos to allow them to dry their grains at reduced cost of Sh20 down from Sh40 per bag monthly to mitigate post-harvest losses as a result of rotting as heavy rainfall continues pounding various parts of the country.

"I direct the NCPB to avail stores to farmers, cooperative societies traders and storage at an affordable cost. The agency will therefore be required to review their current storage charges from Sh10 per bag per month to Sh3 per bag per month," directed the Head of State. He issued the orders on Monday when he met governors from maize growing zones at State House Nairobi. They included Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet) and Patrick Khaemba (Trans-Nzoia) .

"To ensure that our farmers are able to dry and sell their maize with minimal post-harvest losses, I direct that the maize drying charges at the NCPB be reviewed downward by 50 percent, from the current Sh40 per unit drop to Sh20," he added.

The government is to operationalise WRS next month after it suspended purchase of emergency food stocks.