Winstone Chiseremi @Wchiseremi
The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has started decongesting its North Rift stores. The move is aimed at preparing for maize purchase from farmers in the region in two months time.
NCPB operation manager Jonah Marindich said the board is transporting all last year’s maize stock from all depots in the region to empty silos in North Eastern and Eastern regions. “We have disposed more than two million bags of maize from the board’s depots in North Rift,” he said.
Addressing the press at the Eldoret depot, Marindich allayed fears from farmers that NCPB may not buy their maize harvest since it was still holding a stock of more than 4.2 million bags of the crop under the Strategic Grain Reserve programme.
“I assure maize farmers that by harvest time, we will have decongested all our stores in the North Rift and part of Western Kenya region,” he said.
Kenya Farmers director Kipkorir Menjo has challenged the government to avail enough money to NCPB for it to purchase maize from registered farmers. “We are worried over the government’s failure to announce how much money it has budgeted for the purchase of maize from growers this year,” he said.
It is projected that maize harvest in the region in the next two months will be about 40 million bags while farmers are still holding more than 500,000 bags in their stores from last year.