Grain Council urges maize farmers to embrace contract farming

The Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) has urged farmers in Trans Nzoia and stakeholders to embrace contract farming on maize and other crops to minimize challenges of lack of market for the produce.

Speaking to KNA on phone on Thursday, the EAGC Executive Director, Gerald Masila said contract farming should be introduced for crops such as wheat, maize and beans among other crops which farmers find hard to market after harvesting.

I urge all stakeholders to come on board and help in embracing contract farming to a possible extent so that farmers can be assured of market for their produce, he said.

Masila explained contract farming as an agreement between farmers and buyers for the production and marketing of farm products.

He said contract farming has been done for crops like barley, tobacco, sorghum which are grown on contract and their market is always guaranteed.

Let us have anchor contracts with industries and other firms to purchase certain produce from farmers so that the remaining volume can be sold in the local market for home level consumption. Let us not plant then after harvesting we cry foul over poor prices, he says.

Masila has also urged the government to reduce the cost of farm inputs, adding that the cost of production in Kenya is too high.

Once the cost of production is reduced then even if the market price goes down, the farmers will remain with some profit from their investment, he noted.

He also advised farmers to embrace diversification to cushion them from loses when prices go down in one crop.

Speaking in Trans Nzoia, while accompanying Deputy President, William Ruto in launching of road construction last weekend, Senate Speaker, Ken Lusaka said an ad hoc committee will tour the county between 15th and 16th this month to collect views on maize farming and marketing and urged farmers to provide information.

Source: Kenya News Agency