There is a looming crisis at National Cereal and Produce Board (NCPB) after a meeting held by farmers at Eldoret maize depot today morning resolved to oppose the measures being taken by the agency while receiving their maize. The farmers questioned the rationale and method used to allocate quotas to the major maize producing counties, which were announced last week.
In the communique, NCPB indicated the maximum number of bags that they would receive from every county and outlined a raft of stringent conditions that one had to meet in order to be registered as a farmer and have their produce bought by the government. Among other tough rules, a farmer has to prove ownership of the parcel of land on which they grew the crop by producing a title deed. The farmers say after the agency reviewed the quota allotted to Uasin Gishu County from 716,802 to 328,610 bags of 90kg it’s evident that most farmers will not be able to supply the produce.
“After the allocation of maize supply quotas to each location in the county and using village elders to distribute the allocation to each farmer it turned out that there will be villages where each farmer will supply 1 bag of maize. The vetting process as outlined by NCPB is cumbersome and will occasion a delay in supplying the grain,” said a disgruntled farmer.
This comes in the wake of reports by the ministry of agriculture that farmers won’t be getting subsidized fertilizer this planting season as the same hasn’t been imported yet owing to procurement hitches at the ministry. This is despite there being an approved budget of Ksh4.3 Billion for the same. This according to the raging farmers is a clear ploy to frustrate them to ensure that there shall not be enough production going forward and opening the window for importation of cheap maize by cartels.