Kenyan Maize farmers are to receive US $13m as for deliveries made to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB). This is between the period October 2017 and April 2018.
The Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has attributed the delay to lack of funds, ongoing verification of the farmers as well as the incapacitation of the Board of Strategic Food Reserve (SFR) that is supposed to make the payments.
Kiunjuri explained that they failed to pay the farmers because the maize delivered to NCPB exceeded the amount of money budgeted. This then necessitated a need for the government to go through the budget system and allocate the funds for the payments to be made.
Kiunjuri said that by then, the board was not fully constituted. The board’s term was renewed last week through a gazette notice. He said the verification exercise is still ongoing and is expected to be completed in two weeks’ time to enable the government clear the debts.
Last month, Agriculture Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe, NCPB Eldoret silo manager Renson Korir and six other officials were charged over a US $59m scandal after suspicious payments were made to some farmers.
Meanwhile, he added that they are expecting a bumper harvest as well as favorable weather conditions. According to the meteorological department, December will be raining through January, February and March.
Heemphasized that there is abundant harvest and the country is not about to experience any shocks from weather or anything that can make food prices to go up. Mr Kiunjuri stated that the board is selling maize to millers at US $15.84 (Sh.1600). Traders have been advised to lower the price of a two-kilogram maize flour packet to Sh75. He also warned traders against exploiting consumers by hiking prices.