• NCPB has received Sh147 million from the government to pay farmers for pending payments for the 2017-18 maize deliveries
• Kimote said the process of buying maize from farmers has been slow, largely because of the festivities.
The National Cereals and Produce Board has assured maize farmers of payment within 24 hours of delivery this year.
NCPB managing director Joseph Kimote said on Monday all farmers who deliver grain that meets the required quality standards would be paid promptly.
This is after reports that farmers have been shying away from selling maize to the board for fear of delayed payment.
“Payment will be done within 24 hours upon delivery. We are therefore encouraging farmers to bring their maize to NCPB and get value for their crop,” he said in a statement.
Kimote said the process of buying maize from farmers has been slow, largely because of the festivities, but hoped the pace will pick up as farmers start preparing land for the long rains planting season.
NCPB is targeting to buy one million bags at a cost of Sh2,500 per 90 kg bag. Currently, millers and traders are buying maize at an average cost of Sh2,600 per bag.
Kimote said the board will also be paying pending bills for the 2017-18 maize deliveries. Eighty-nine farmers who were cleared by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission will be paid.
"NCPB has received Sh147 million from the government to pay farmers for pending payments for the 2017-18 maize deliveries," he said.
Kimote said the Sh147 million will be used to pay 68 farmers who have been cleared by the EACC but have not been paid for what they delivered to the board. The board is expecting a further Sh384 million to pay the remaining 21 farmers.
“We are working on the modalities on how to disburse the money to the farmers and the payment exercise will start as soon as possible,” he said.
Kenya Farmers Association chairman Kipkorir Menjo said reforms at the board had helped stabilise maize prices in the market at the benefit of farmers.
“By this time of the year, brokers would normally have brought a lot of maize into the country which would depress prices of local maize. But the new reforms have locked out unscrupulous traders, and they have not been bringing any maize during the harvesting season,” he said.
Kimote said besides buying maize, NCPB is offering grain post-harvest services including drying, warehouse receipt system, weighing, aflatoxin testing and fumigation.
All of these services are offered at affordable rates. For instance, drying a unit drop of moisture content costs Sh20 and aflatoxin testing charges at Sh1,500 per sample.