National Cereals and Produce Board Should Be Privatized

By Juma / Published August 1, 2019 | 7:13 am



maize imports

The taskforce that had been appointed to explore the chaos that had dominated the maize sector in Kenya wants the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) privatized.

If the recommendations by the task force will be adopted, then the government of Kenya which holds a huge stake in the agency will have to sell it off.

Currently, most activities at the NCPB are run by the government with the taskforce blaming the numerous delays at the board continuous and tiring push and pull in approval processes.

The taskforce wants the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to be split into two wings: the government wing and the commercial wing to help it curb with the numerous challenges facing it.

During the harvest season in 2018, farmers kept away from delivering their maize to NCPB after it emerged that those who had supplied the agency with their produce in 2017 had not been paid.

NCPB has been rocked with corruption allegations with more than 4 billion shillings meant to pay farmers going missing, leading to the arrest of senior officials within the agricultural sector.

If the proposals by the taskforce are adopted, 80 percent of operations with NCPB will be run by private entities with the government left with only 20 percent.

The current strategic grain reserve in Kenya stands at 4 million bags but the taskforce on maize wants it raised to 6 million to accommodate more farmers who would love to sell their grain to NCPB.

“To make NCPB a viable institution, it should be privatized and restructured into a commercial enterprise. This will stop it from relying wholly on the Government for funding and ensure effective allocation of resources, tasks, responsibilities, authorities, and accountability,” said the taskforce in its report.

“The task-force recommends that the Strategic Grain Reserve Trust Fund be converted to a parastatal to enhance its autonomy and efficiency.”

Currently, it is not clear whether Kenya is facing a maize shortage due to conflicting information from both the Cabinet Secretary and the Chairman of Kenya Food Reserve. The CS says that there is a shortage of maize by KFR says Kenya has enough maize.

The government wanted to import 12.5 million bags of maize to “address the shortage” but the decision was met with criticism from both within the same government and without.




About Juma

Juma is an enthusiastic journalist who believes that journalism has power to change the world either negatively or positively depending on how one uses it.(020) 528 0222 or Email: info@sokodirectory.com

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