Stakeholders in the grain sector have decried high cost of farm inputs and post-harvest losses which they complained ate into their profits.
The Executive Director of the East African Grain Council (EAGC), Gerald Masila who was speaking at the Kitale National Polytechnic also said farmers were facing challenges of marketing their produce at higher prices owing to un-favourable market trends.
Masila asked the government to consider subsiding farm inputs and investing in post- harvest equipment to salvage farmers from losses.
He was addressing journalists during a brief on the preparations for Agribusiness expo which would be held between August 15 and 16, 2019 at the institution with more than 12,000 farmers expected to attend.
He however commended the government for enacting a law that would see the use of warehouse receipt system legalized adding that the system would offer farmers access to credit facilities as collateral which would in turn help them improve on their farming.
“The Warehouse Receipt Act will see all warehouses licensed to be operational. This will be useful for farmers within this sector who face difficulties when seeking for financial aid owing to laid conditions,” he said.
A Warehouse Receipt System (WRS) enables farmers to deposit storable goods (usually grains or coffee) in exchange for a Warehouse Receipt (WR).
A WR is a document issued by warehouse operators as evidence that specified commodities of stated quantity and quality have been deposited at a particular location.
The national government has been encouraging farmers to adopt the system which has also seen some of them access farm inputs through the cereals board.
The Trans Nzoia County Director of Agriculture, Edward Osanya challenged farmers in the region to make use of grain stores put up by the county government to avoid post-harvest losses.
“We have established grain stores in Kiminini, Saboti, Kwanza and Cherang’any while one is being put up at Endebess. Climate change has affected harvest times hence the need for proper storage systems,” said Osanya.
By Pauline Ikanda