Government to take action against NCPB over maize saga

A maize farmer./COURTESY

Nairobi, KENYA: President Uhuru Kenyatta has vowed to take decisive action against the National Cereal and Produce Board officials who ignored paying maize farmers their dues instead wired funds to other traders clandestinely.

Speaking at the Jamhuri Show Ground on Thursday where he officially opened the 2018 ASK Nairobi International Trade Fair president Kenyatta said that the government has started paying farmers their dues immediately indicating that the delays witnessed were occasioned by some NCPB officials who diverted funds to other traders instead of paying genuine farmers.

He vehemently warned the culprits to stop the malpractice with immediate effect failure to which action will be taken embedded with devastating consequences.

“Instead of paying farmers who have toiled, the people at NCPB went ahead and paid the rich traders. I promise you and I swear before God, try that again and you will see what will happen to you,” said the Head of State

The President said interventions in the agriculture sector including the subsidized fertilizer programme has had positive results and Kenyans want to see the benefits.

“I encourage millers to be mindful of their social responsibilities,” said the Head of State as he pointed out that the agricultural sector is enjoying massive support from the State with an allocation of Sh57 billion in this year’s budget alone.

The President said the expected maize supply this year is nearly 47 million bags and added to the 9.8 million bags in stores already, the country will have a surplus of more than 4 million bags.

“In a rational environment, this should translate to a significant reduction in the price of maize flour.  I, therefore, want to be clear: since supply has risen, dealers should do the right thing to their fellow Kenyans, and ease prices, ” said President Kenyatta.

The President also announced that the Government has finalized plans to increase the production and consumption of blended maize flour with the aim of supporting nutritional intakes of food.

He said the policy is aimed at increasing the production and consumption of drought-tolerant crops like sorghum, millet, and cassava.

“This will create a market for farmers of these staple crops, especially in those parts of our country that receive less rainfall,” said the President.

The President spoke on Thursday at the Jamhuri Show Ground where he officially opened the 2018 ASK Nairobi International Trade Fair.