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Farmers advised against drying maize in the open

COUNTY_RIFTVALLEY
By By SILAH KOSKEI | Jan 17th 2014 | 2 min read

By SILAH KOSKEI

KENYA: Every year after harvest, most farmers in Uasin Gishu dry their produce in the open fields along roads and the railway line before taking it to National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) and millers.

The practice, which takes place outside Kipchoge Keino Stadium along the Eldoret-Iten road and at Uasin Gishu County’s Old Cemetery grounds, poses health risks to consumers as the produce gets in contact with a lot of dust.

The people drying the maize walk barefoot over the maize, possibly contaminating the produce further.

Ironically, this hazardous habit still continues even after the county administration introduced two driers to help the farmers dry their produce efficiently and hygienically.

Impurities

Uasin Gishu County Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Minister Cyril Cheruiyot expressed concern over the practice of drying the produce in the open.

“Personally I am appalled by the continued drying of maize outside Kipchoge Stadium and along the railway line among other open fields like Huruma grounds. The produce gets contaminated by numerous impurities becoming a health risk to consumers,” he says.

He discouraged such drying, saying the county was planning to buy more maize driers.

Philip Boit, a farmer from Moiben,  said they dry the maize in the open due to lack of driers.

“Lack of adequate driers has become a disadvantage to most farmers who are required to use all means to reduce the moisture content in the  maize before taking it to the seller,” he said.

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