Wheat farmers in Narok County will smile all the way to the bank if the millers purchase their produce as per an agreement earlier signed by the millers, county government and farmers.
Narok Governor Patrick Ntutu and State Department of Crop Development Principal Secretary Kellow Harsama said the state had suspended any importation of wheat until the already mature wheat in the farms is sold out.
Ntutu said the county is expected to produce about 1.2 million bags of wheat, contributing to a big percentage of wheat in the country saying the farmers will not release their produce if the agreed prices are compromised.
In the agreement, a 90-kilogramme bag of grade one wheat would cost Sh. 5, 200 while that of grade two would cost Sh. 5, 100.
The governor said already over 50, 000 bags had been harvested but took issue with the millers who had threatened to breach the contract warning if they do not stick to the agreement, the county will be forced to move to court to seek justice for the farmers.
“All farmers in Narok decided that they will not sell their produce without making an agreement on the prices. This is because the prices of all other products have gone high,” he said.
PS Harsama congratulated the farmers for the big harvest saying his department will ensure that farmers get good returns from the harvest.
“Our purpose is to ensure that all the wheat that is being harvested is sold before we import more. The arrangement that has been in place is for the millers to buy at the agreed price,” he said.
One of the Narok Cereal Farmers Association officials David Kilesi thanked both levels of government for intervening to ensure farmers get value for their produce.
He recalled that in previous years, some farmers had been forced to drop the farming practice due to frustrations from middle men who bought their wheat at a throw away price.
“Now we can smile because the government of the day is concerned with the farmers. We are sure that in the future, more farmers who had abandoned wheat farming will be encouraged to plant wheat in large scales,” he said.
They spoke on Saturday at Zebu Hotel in Narok town during a meeting that brought together all wheat farmers in the county.
Narok is one of the leading counties in wheat production in the country. Other counties known for wheat production are Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia and Meru counties.
By Ann Salaton