Uhuru directs NCPB to buy maize at Sh2,500

President Uhuru Kenyatta flanked by Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri and Treasury CS Henry Rotich at State House in Mombasa on Thursday, January 10, 2019. /PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta flanked by Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri and Treasury CS Henry Rotich at State House in Mombasa on Thursday, January 10, 2019. /PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Ministry of Agriculture

to start buying maize from farmers at Sh2,500 per bag.

This is Sh200 more than what the

on November 22 last year.

Speaking at State House in Mombasa on Thursday, the President directed Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri to authorise the National Cereals and Produce Board to purchase 2

million bags.

The maize will be bought through the Strategic Food Reserve in coordination with the counties.

"I call upon the investigative agencies to expedite the verification process to ensure maize farmers are paid as soon as possible," Uhuru said.

He was flanked by Kiunjuri and Treasury CS Henry Rotich.

The President said last year's

maize production stood at 46 million bags owing to a bumper harvest owing to good weather.

He said Kenya has enough maize reserves and the price of flour should remain stable this year.

Uhuru said at least

2.5 million bags from last

year's harvest are still in stores.

He said 1.7 million bags will be released in the market at Sh1,600 per bag while an additional 300,000 bags of animal feed will be sold to farmers for Sh1,400 per bag.

"It is clear that currently there is sufficient maize in the market being

sold at between Sh1,700 and Sh1,800 per bag. I do not expect any changes in the cost of unga," Uhuru said.

Uhuru's announcement may not appease farmers from the Rift Valley who have been pushing for Sh3,600

to cater for production costs and leave them with some profit.

At the same time, Uhuru told the ministry to start paying sugar cane farmers pending claims following the completion of an audit he directed on Madaraka Day last year.

"I'm pleased to confirm that the process has been completed. I, therefore, direct the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Treasury to immediately start paying the farmers," Uhuru said.

The President further directed the ministry to accelerate the implementation of interventions that have been agreed upon under the Big Four Food and Security Agenda.

He said the government is committed to realising the agenda and supporting farmers to increase productivity.

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