Farmers in West Pokot and Trans Nzoia Counties have urged the government to open the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to enable them to sell their produce. They urged the national government to open NCPB buying centres so that farmers can deliver their maize in good time. The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) silos are still closed despite assurances by the government they’ll start buying maize from farmers last week.
The farmers want the government to buy their maize so that they won’t be exploited by middlemen.
Middlemen in the area have been buying maize for KSh 23OO, making huge profits from farmers who are desperate for cash.
Led by Mr. James Kapelion, the farmers said the cereal boards should be open as soon as possible as the farmers incur losses due to heavy rains. “We don’t want to have problems when it comes to paying school fees in January next year,” he said, “By now we could have taken maize to the cereals board.”
Kapelion, who is one of the large-scale farmers in the region added that the government should support the farmers to facilitate their agricultural production. “NCPB should begin buying maize from the farmers to cut off these profiteers. The maize is being sold at 2800 per bag,” he said.
The farmers also called on NCPB to partner with the region’s County governments to open up satellite centres to be used as pick-up points in the supply of farm inputs and sale of produce.
“We need the centres in remote areas so that we can access farm inputs without problems,” he said
They said the centres will help to cut on high costs they have been incurring on transportation, which has in the long run been affecting their profit margins.
“The cost of production and transportation has gone up, farmers are operating at a loss,” said another farmer Mr. George Kiptoo.