Nairobi, KENYA: The government now wants all farmers across the country registered with the National Cereal and Produce Board (NCPD) before the end of forthcoming harvest season in order to benefit from maize and fertilizers subsidies.
The ministry has already begun training its staff in 6 pilot counties in preparation for online registration of farmers.
While addressing the members of the press on Friday in Nairobi, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, said that government has been losing billions of shillings in some unscrupulous and traders who have taken advantage of gaps in vetting process to access government subsidies prices.
“As stated earlier, our neighboring countries are using the same seed varieties and therefore making it difficult for us to differentiate our maize from theirs. If we do not register our farmers, the country stands to lose billions of shillings by subsidizing farmers from elsewhere. It should be remembered that these subsidies come from taxes paid Kenyans.” Said Kiunjuri.
The CS said that in the effort to go an extra mile to support maize farmers, the maize purchase price set by the government at Kshs. 3,200 is quite attractive and most farmers have opted to sell their maize to the cereals board as opposed to the millers as had been the case in the past, thus, living the government as the only sole purchaser of the surplus produce.
“There are inflows of surplus stocks of maize from neighboring countries due to opening up of the regional trade market and our attractive prices. We are not ruling out the possibility that maize from such countries has found its way into our subsidy program.” Said Kiunjuri
He added that Farmers who will not register will risk missing out on government subsidies and will continue experiencing the same challenges year in year out.
The Ministry says now it will intensify frequent surveillance and monitoring of the process across the country as security teams asked to stay alert.
He also issued a stern warning to any staff found to be colluding with unscrupulous traders, that their days are numbered, however; transferring them to other working stations will not be an option.