The Cherangany Member of Parliament, Joshua Kutuny has appealed to the government to speed up the release of Sh. 5.6 billion for the purchase of maize so that farmers can deliver their produce to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) stores.
The MP also asked the government to open the NCPB stores as soon as possible so that the farmers can enjoy the prevailing good prices in the market with a 90 kilogramme bag being bought for Sh. 3,000.
Speaking over the weekend during a funds drive in aid of Evangelical Bible Church in Illula, Uasin Gishu County, Kutuny said considering that importation of maize creates a crisis to farmers, the government should stop it so that farmers can sell maize harvested locally.
On several occasion farmers from the North Rift region have had to hold demonstrations to compel the government to pay for maize delivered to NCPB with allegations that cartels who import maize were given priority when making payments.
“It is evident that farmers from the region are forced to resort to protest to the NCPB over delayed payments for their maize harvest after every harvest season, but we are urging the government to this time around hasten the release of the allocated funds so that farmers are paid for their produce on delivery to NCPB,” said the MP.
According to Joseph Cherono and Kimutai Kolum, maize farmers from Uasin Gishu, the price of maize in the region currently varies as middlemen, brokers and private millers were offering between Sh 2800 and Sh 3000 for a 90kg bag compared to Sh 1,500 last year.
Kolum said majority of farmers this year have resolved to sell their maize to the government through NCPB, hoping it will offer them better prices for their crop unlike private milers who usually exploit them.
By Kiptanui Cherono