• Farmers will store their produce in approved stores and be issued with receipts
• The receipts can act as collateral to enable them access credit and farm inputs
The government will meet farmers in Rift Valley next week to educate them on the Warehouse Receipting System it is rolling out.
The meetings will take place between Monday and Friday in Kitale, Eldoret and Nakuru.
Under the system, farmers will store their produce, mainly cereals, in approved stores and be issued with receipts as proof of ownership.
The government has already approved more than 12 stores at NCPB depots, mostly in Rift Valley, to be used as warehouses in the system.
Farmers can use the receipts issued in various ways, including as collateral to access credit and farm inputs.
The system is also expected to help them deal with marketing problems.
The farmers will hold the maize at the approved stores and sell it when prices are better.
The WRS Board, chaired by Jane Ngige, will guide farmers on how the system works. Ngige was appointed three months ago by Agriculture CS Peter Munya.
Kenya Farmers Association chairman Kipkorir Menjo said they have already been informed of the meetings.
“The forums will give us an opportunity to understand the system in better ways, and farmers will get answers to the many questions they have been asking about the new system,” he said.
The meetings will also be attended by MPs including Sila Tiren, chair of the Agriculture Committee.
Tiren said it is a new system that needs to be demystified.
“The forums convened by the board will help provide the necessary information to the farmers,” he said.
His committee is working with the farmers and other stakeholders to help farmers get value for their farming and increase food production.
Most maize farmers in the high-producing counties in Rift Valley have already harvested their produce.
But due to delays in the opening of NCPB depots, prices of the commodity have dropped drastically to about Sh2,000 per 90kg bag.
The drop in prices has been occasioned by middlemen, who have invaded the region to buy the maize from farmers who are desperate for markets.
Menjo and Tiren have, however, advised farmers not to sell their produce at throwaway prices but wait until the WRS system is fully rolled out.