North Rift MPs tussle with NCPB over maize purchase

A maize farmer./COURTESY

Nairobi, KENYA: Members of parliament representing farmers in maize growing areas are calling on National Cereal and produce board, NCPB, to stop demanding for title deed, identity card, KRA PIN and lease Agreement from farmers for them to accept maize delivery to them.

The MPs expressed their disappointment with NCPB saying that it has put unreasonable, backward, anti-farming and many hard-to-meet demands to farmers before delivery of their produce.

“Why, for instance, would NCPB require that farmers supplying more than 400 bags of maize clear with the strategic Food Reserve Oversight Board?” Questioned Caleb Kositan MP for Soy constituency.

The Soy law maker said it is frustrating to see farmers with their trucks loaded with maize continue lining up in various NCPB depots in the country, after spending days and nights in long queues in Eldoret, Ziwa, Moi’s Bridge, Kitale among other centres with no hopes in sight.

“As a matter of fact, most of maize farmers in North Rift have no title deed. We strongly believe these conditions are meant to inhibit rather than stimulate food production in Kenya. This defeats the food sufficiency goal that the government has envisaged in the Big Four Agenda,” he said.

The leaders further said that even after president Kenyatta directive three weeks ago, that Strategic Food Reserve purchase two million of 90 kilograms bags of maize at sh.2,500, NCPB has done nothing to effect the announcement.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, three weeks ago directed Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture Mwangi Kiunjuri to authorize NCPB through the Strategic Food Reserve to open buying centres and stores to receive maize from farmers across the country at sh.2,500 per 90 kg of maize.

According to NCPB two weeks ago, a funding hitch has delayed purchasing of maize and they are waiting for money and instruction from SFR, which is custodian of maize stored at the board.

They said the SFR officials are seeking funds from the treasury and that the buying of maize from farmers will start once the Treasury wires cash.