Senator Moi pushes for changes at cereals board

Senator Gideon Moi (Right) chats with Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut (centre) at Turesia Primary School in Elgeyo Marakwet.[Kevin Tunoi, Standard]
The National Cereals and Produce Board should be overhauled, Senator Gideon Moi has said.

The State agency is in the spotlight for failing to pay farmers and instead giving out billions to unscrupulous maize traders.

"We have a lot of challenges that need urgent intervention. We know NCPB stores are full while farmers have not been paid," said the senator.

"When the Senate resumes from recess, we will pass a Bill to completely overhaul the board," he said.

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Gideon said he would not allow 2022 politics to distract him from serving his constituents.

"I am not an irrational person to rush into things. But what I have persistently said is that I will follow the cow's footprints and when I get it, we shall milk it and allow people to drink the milk," said the senator.

He was speaking yesterday at Turesia AIC church in Keiyo South during a fundraiser.

He asked leaders to address issues affecting the community first, saying the time for electioneering would come. 

Cereal farmers

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"We need to put in place an institution that will cater for the needs of cereal farmers. The Bill will guarantee prompt payment, not empty promises. It will also advocate and safeguard farmers' issues, which will no longer be dependent on the goodwill of some individuals," stated Senator Moi.

He was accompanied by Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos, MPs William Kamket (Tiaty), Silas Tiren (Moiben), William Chepkut (Ainabkoi) and Daniel Rono (Keiyo South).

Kamket said the fight against corruption must be supported by all Kenyans.

"We cannot allow the ambition of 2022 to kill the economy of farmers. The issues affecting the farmers should be handled right now and leaders championing them should not be intimidated," he said.

His sentiments were supported by Mr Tiren.

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"Agriculture is the backbone of the economy, issues affecting the sector should be treated with the urgency they deserve. Farmers are a frustrated lot and it saddens me when cartels are allowed to hold the board captive," said the MP.

On the 2022 presidential election issue, the MP said the field should be open to all interested candidates.

"Why is it that when it comes to the presidency some leaders claim the community has one candidate?" asked Tiren.

Mr Chepkut asked the Government to expedite payment of maize delivered to NCPB, saying urgent changes were needed to enable the board to handle issues affecting farmers.

Governor Tolgos advised residents to plant maize only for subsistence and embrace other cash crops to avoid frustration by NCPB.

He also called for an end to 2022 poll talk. "We cannot talk of 2022 when the community is still faced with myriad challenges. Let issues affecting the community be our talking points as a community," he said.

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