NCPB to review maize drying prices as part of measures to cushion farmers post Covid-19

Maize farmers will be cushioned by the government post Covid-19

The maize farming sector has endured its fair share of challenges, and with the Covid-19 pandemic wrecking havoc across all sector countrywide, farmers have also felt the weight. Some Western region leaders had called for interventions to cushion maize farmers, notably Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba who had called for assistance for them to dry their maize.

Following intervention by President Uhuru Kenyatta, maize drying charges at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) will be reviewed down by 50% from Kshs 40 per unit to Kshs 20 per unit. Driers will be availed in all maize growing areas and they’ll be community based and managed by farmers and cooperatives at community level.

Stores not in use will also be availed by NCPB countrywide for storing maize at an affordable cost, with current storage charges reviewed from Kshs 10 per bag per month to Kshs 3 per bag per month. The maize selling prices have also been an issue for long, and the President directed that the minimum maize selling price by the farmer be Kshs 2,500 per 90 kg bag. Outstanding payments due to maize farmers and traders who supplied maize to NCPB have to be cleared by Friday 2nd October.

After the state’s intervention in introducing new sugar sector regulations to boost the local farmer, the new regulations in the maize farming sector are also meant to cushion the local maize farmers, by ensuring there are no maize imports from outside COMESA or EAC region.