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State releases extra Sh291m for maize purchase arrears

In Summary

• The government has released an extra Sh296 million to the National Cereals and Produce Board to pay maize farmers.

• Titus Maiyo said the money will cover deliveries made before March 2 and that another Sh147 million would be released for those who delivered by March 9.

Lorries ferrying maize to the NCPB stores in Eldoret on March 2nd
MAIZE Lorries ferrying maize to the NCPB stores in Eldoret on March 2nd
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

The government has released an extra Sh296 million to the National Cereals and Produce Board to pay maize farmers for their deliveries .

Board spokesman Titus Maiyo said the money will cover deliveries made before March 2 and that another Sh147 million would be released for those who delivered by March 9.

Maiyo said the board has so far bought 391,000 bags of maize but is yet to meet its target of 2 million bags.

Kenya Farmers Association director Kipkorir Menjo said many farmers have decided to skip the tough vetting conditions at the board to sell their produce to middlemen.

Farmers have complained that slow payments may delay their purchase of farm farm inputs for the new planting season.

“This vetting process is being used to frustrate farmers all the time. The same farmers are being vetted so many times at NCPB”, said Menjo.

He said the board paid out Sh 200 million last month but so far no more payments have been made leaving most farmers frustrated. 

The board pays sh 2,500 per 90 kilo bag of maize but independent traders pay about sh 2,000 per bag.

Maiyo said the purchase of maize is going on well and that the vetting conditions ensured that only genuine farmers are paid by the board.

“The vetting conditions were not introduced by the board at all”, said Maiyo. He said the conditions were set by the government following shady deals during last year's maize purchase.