There is a shortage of bags to store maize purchased from farmers at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) and farmers will have to buy their own bags.
Initially, NCPB would provide the sacks but according to the agency, there are no sacks and those willing to deliver their maize will have to come with their own bags.
NCPB says farmers who will come with their bags will be reimbursed because the procurement of the same would take the agency “two to three months.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the cereals body to start the purchase of 2,000,000 bags of maize from farmers at the price of 2,600 shillings. The initial price set by the cabinet was at 2,300 shillings.
Even with the directive of the president, the NCPB has only managed to buy a meager 300,000 bags of maize, 1,700,000 from the target. Farmers have been complaining of delays with most of them being turned away for lack of sacks.
In a move that was aimed at locking out cartels and traders, the board had capped the purchase of 400 bags of maize per farmer, leading to a protest among large-scale maize farmers.
Last harvesting season, Kenyan farmers are estimated to have harvested at least 16,000,000 million bags of maize. With the government set to purchase only 2,000,000 bags, farmers will be left with more than 10,000,000 bags with nowhere to take.
Currently, NCPB has at least 3.6 million bags of maize in its strategic stores though analysts say the maize the board has is not enough to feed the nation in case of a widespread natural calamity like what is already happening in 12 counties.
Sadly, most farmers in other counties such as Migori have not sold a single bag of maize, with the current purchase only taking part in the Rift Valley region.