NCPB to Help Farmers Dry Their Maize Free of Charge

By Juma Fred / November 14, 2017

Maize

The National Cereals and Produce Board will now help farmers dry their maize free of charge following a directive from the Principal Secretary of Agriculture Richard Lesiyampe.

To help speed up the process, the government has set aside 200 million shillings to help farmers achieve the required moisture content in their maize.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics requires that farmers should have their moisture content at 13.5 percent for the maize to pass the test of human consumption.

The continuous rain that has been pounding across the country has affected many maize farmers whose produced had been rejected by the NCPB for failing to meet the moisture content criteria. Farmers had also protested the move the produce board to charge them 34 shillings per moisture content per bag.

The maize sector in the country has been through a wave of turmoil with harvests having being reduced by for than a quarter. In April, maize farmers encountered destruction, devastation, and pain as destructive armyworms marched through more than 12 maize-growing counties including Bungoma, Nandi, Kericho, Kakamega, Kisii, Trans-Nzoia, Busia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Uasin Gishu and Migori. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Bungoma County alone lost 30,000 acres of maize to armyworms with 60,000 acres going down in Trans-Nzoia County.

In June, experts warned that the country was likely to lose more than 16 million bags of maize as a result of armyworms with the blamed heaped on the government for failing to tackle the menace.

The government had announced that it would be buying maize from farmers at the price of 3,200 shillings per 90-kilogram bag. The government disclosed that it had set aside 7.1 million shillings to purchase 2.4 million bags of maize meant to replenish the strategic food reserve. Farmers had, however, threatened to hold back their maize if the NCPB continued to charge them for reduction of moisture content.



About Juma Fred

Juma Fredrick is an enthusiastic journalist who believes that journalism has power to change the world either negatively or positively depending on how one uses it. You can reach him on: (020) 528 0222 or Email: [email protected]

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