NCPB overhaul: Old cereals board to go in reforms

Senator Moi unveils proposals to overhaul NCPB
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi has proposed a raft of changes that will overhaul the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

In his bill Senator Moi seeks to replace NCPB with a National Grain Regulatory Commission to streamline the grain sector.

The bill will protect farmers against exploitation by ensuring safeguards are in place  against illegal importation of maize.

The proposal further seeks to create a National Food Security Agency that will offer advisory on food security.

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“Since this Bill touches on counties, the input of county governments will be taken into consideration as they are key stakeholders in ensuring food security,” said Moi in a statement yesterday.

Commissioned study

He said that the government had, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in 2014, commissioned a study on the restructuring of the national grain reserve.

The study was conducted by a consultancy firm, Ernst and Young.

“The report was released, but unfortunately, like many others, it was not acted upon. The proposed remedies that my bill seeks to achieve are in line with the recommendations of the report and the deliberation of the Senate,” said Moi.

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He called on the Government and key stakeholders in agriculture to support the bill saying it is in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big Four Agenda.

Moi further called on the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) to prosecute individuals behind the NCPB corruption scandal that saw non-farmers paid billions of shillings.

“It is not lost that key politicians and businessmen, through unscrupulous means, profited from the NCPB at the expense of the ordinary farmer and have not been subjected to the full force of the law. I, therefore, urge the ODPP to immediately prosecute the perpetrators of the fraud which amounts to serious economic sabotage on farmers,” he said.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission had last month directed Agriculture Ministry to suspend pending payments until ongoing investigations into irregular payments for maize supplies to the board is completed.

The board was in May hit by scandal after it emerged that it may have lost billions of shillings in questionable payments.

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Both the National Assembly and the Senate are currently looking into complains that the board had delayed payments to maize farmers.

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