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NCPB to buy Sh1.2m bags of maize from North Rift farmers

By Silah Koskei | Published Mon, December 12th 2016 at 00:00, Updated December 11th 2016 at 23:32 GMT +3
Trucks carrying bags of wheat and maize, queue outside the Eldoret National Cereals and Produce Board Depot. The government ordered NCPB to buy both wheat and maize from farmers. A bag of maize will be purchased at a cost of Sh 3000 a bag. PHOTO: KEVIN TUNOI

The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has already purchased 410,000 bags of maize in the North Rift.

The amount, according to the managing director Newton Terer, is an increase compared to last year's 498,000 total purchase countrywide.

Speaking in Eldoret during a free eye clinic conducted at the depot where over 600 farmers were examined and treated, Terer said the move has been made possible by the attractive maize price of Sh3,000.

"We are likely to surpass last year's purchase and reach our 1.2 million target. We are glad that farmers no longer sell their produce to middlemen but to grain reserves," he said.

The MD maintained that they will remain open during the festive season and assured them of prompt payment besides ensuring that they supply produce with the right moisture content.

He noted that the payment will assist farmers make early ploughing preparations for next year.

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"Farmers should rest assured that by Christmas we will  have sorted out those on the queues, as part of our plans. We pay them after three days and they will all be in a position to pay school fees and cater for other expenses," he said.

He said those who want to beat the queues should take their produce to Bungoma and Kisumu depots that do not have many clients.

Terer further urged farmers to register with respective Ministry of Agriculture officials to benefit from subsidised farm inputs.

"We have records of those bringing their produce to depots, we shall however require those who have not to registered with ministry officials at the ward level to do so that they can be considered in the purchase of subsidised fertilizer in the the next planting season," he added.

Board director Silas Magut lauded the Jubilee administration for cushioning farmers through the provision of improved maize prices.

He said besides good prices, the Government will also continue providing subsidised inputs.