News

Maize sector reforms report out next week

maize

The report follows collection of views from the farmers and other stakeholders on the challenges facing the sub-sector. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The maize taskforce and the Ministry of Agriculture yesterday met to validate its report as the State seeks to solve the problems bedevilling farmers.
  • This follows collection of views from the farmers and other stakeholders on the challenges facing the sub-sector.
  • Farmers have accused the State of starting purchasing of maize from the previous season late, leaving them at the mercy of cartels who have been offering rock bottom prices.

The maize taskforce and the Ministry of Agriculture Friday met to validate its report as the State seeks to solve the problems bedevilling farmers.

This follows collection of views from the farmers and other stakeholders on the challenges facing the sub-sector.

“The report on the findings of the maize task force will be released next week after it has been validated,” said Mr Kiunjuri Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri said.

Mr Kiunjuri said the task force will thereafter be required to develop an implementation work-plan aimed at improving the sector once the report is adopted.

This comes at a time when farmers are facing increased challenges along the value chain, which range from getting farming inputs to market access.

Farmers have accused the State of starting purchasing of maize from the previous season late, leaving them at the mercy of cartels who have been offering rock bottom prices. Purchasing started this week. However, there were delays occasioned by lack of vetting forms.

The National Cereals Produce Board has capped the purchase of maize at 400 bags worth Sh1 million as the government moves to tame traders and large-scale holders who have been accused of abusing the window at the expense of small-scale farmers.

According to the government, any registered farmer with more than 400 bags of the produce must be cleared by Strategic Food Reserve.

The SFR, which is buying two million bags from growers this year, says brokers, traders and middlemen are not eligible to sell their grain to the board.