State releases Sh1.4bn pay to farmers for NCPB maize

Andrew Tuimur
Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Andrew Tuimur. FILE PHTO | NMG 

The government has released Sh1.4 billion as part of payment to farmers for maize deliveries to National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) last year.

Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Andrew Tuimur said the money was released last week to the Ministry of Devolution.

“Farmers should be getting their money very soon,” said Dr Tuimur.

The money is part of the Sh3.5 billion that the government owes farmers.

Dr Tuimur said only those who have been vetted will benefit from the cash. Growers supplied over 4.3 million bags of maize to the board in the last season crop.

The government started fresh vetting of farmers in April after it was discovered that there were unscrupulous traders who supplied cheap imported grain from Uganda to benefit from the government price of Sh3,200 per 90 kilo bag.

NCPB on Monday said it was waiting for the funds to be wired from the Ministry of Devolution anytime from now before it starts distributing to the farmers.

The ministry had requested for additional funds from the National Treasury after it was allocated Sh1.9 billion in the supplementary budget to cater for farmers’ debts.

The Agriculture ministry had requested Sh3.6 billion to clear part of the dues.

Imports from Uganda have started flooding the market and there are fears that the cheap maize will again find its way to NCPB depots.