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NCPB might not buy maize from farmers

05 July 2013, 12:42 Mwangi Karanja

The government has been urged to come clear on the means it will use to purchase maize from farmers in the Country.

Speaking to the people yesterday at his office in Kitale, Kenya National Federation of Agricultural producers (Kenfap) Trans Nzoia county chairman William Kimosong said majority of farmers have been relying on National Cereal and produce Board (NCPB) for years to buy their produce.

He said there are uncertainties as to whether the NCPB is in position to buy maize after its accounts were frozen by court.

“We don’t know who will buy maize from farmers as the government is yet to address the issue,” he said.

Kimosong added that middle men might take the opportunity to defraud farmers if the NCPB trouble is not solved saying that poor market prices would be double tragedy to farmers after they failed to plant and top dress in time following delay in distribution of DAP and CAN fertilizer by NCPB.

He reiterated that famers might also be denied access to driers at the NCPB, which they have been using for years.

“Maize farmers are going through hardship; first NCPB delayed to supply fertilizer in time during planting and topdressing period, they don’t have other facilities to dry their produce before storing, and lastly no one will buy their produce in good price,” he lamented.

Meanwhile, farmers are still flocking at Kitale NCPB depot to purchase subsidised fertilizer.

Felix Cherok a maize farmer from Saboti constituency said that he was preparing for next season as the period to top-dress had elapses.

“I want to prepare for next season as we have more than 50 000 bags of DAP and CAN are still being distributed,” he said.

“This year I expect to harvest less than 50 bags 0f 90 kgs and I usually get more than 160 bags. My crops were heavily affected as I failed to plant and top dress in time,”

However, the Trans Nzoia county governor Patrick Khaemba plans to build a milling plant in the County that will help farmers sell their produce at a much higher price.

Addressing farmers yesterday in Kitale, the county governor said that his plan is to add value to the crop and help farmers rip from their investment.

He said the facility will be buying, drying and storing maize for farmers.

“We want to help our farmers as the County is the grain basket of the country, if they fail Kenyans will go hungry,” he said.

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