Aging facilities at the National Cereals and Produce Board, NCPB needs to be urgently replaced if the organization is to provide quality services to farmers.
The Uasin Gishu County Commissioner (CC), Abdi Hassan said the existing facilities were prone to breakdowns, inconveniencing farmers delivering their produce to the depots.
Speaking in his Eldoret office on Tuesday while receiving the National Assembly’s Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Hassan said thorough vetting has ensured that only genuine farmers delivered maize to NCPB this season.
The members were on a fact finding tour to check on Maize deliveries, fertilizer distribution and payments made to maize farmers so far by NCPB.
“Unlike last year where cartels managed to infiltrate NCPB to deliver maize and were paid millions of shillings at the expense of the farmer, this year the ministry of Agriculture and Interior carried out thorough vetting to ensure genuine farmers deliver their produce to NCPB and also benefit from the government subsidized fertilizer,” he added.
We managed to do away with brokers and other cartels completely and we ask NCPB to continue involving our offices in identifying the true farmers through chiefs and their assistants at the village level, added Hassan.
“We are however, asking NCPB to seal the remaining loopholes, including resolving the issue of gunny bags shortage and improve communication flow to make the maize buying process and distribution of subsidized fertilizer smooth,” said the CC.
He also asked NCPB to install dryers in other depots like Turbo, Ziwa and Ainabkoi where farmers can take their maize for drying instead of flocking to the Eldoret depot, causing massive congestion.
The committee was led by their Chairman, Adan Haji Yusuf. Also present were CEO Strategic Grain Reserve, Omar Salat and NCPB Managing Director, Albin Sang.
The committee later toured NCPB Eldoret depot to assess the distribution of subsidized fertilizer to farmers.
By Kiptanui Cherono