Pay Sh3,000 a bag, say maize farmers

By: MATHEWS NDANYI

Maize farmers have threatened to block roads in protest if the Cereals Board does not raise prices from Sh2,300 to Sh3,000 per bag.

Meeting in Eldoret town on Thursday, they demanded a meeting with the NCPB. Present were representatives from the Kenya Farmers Association and Kenya National Farmers Union.

“The price offered by the government at NCPB is quite low and cannot enable us make profits, considering the costs of farm inputs,” KNFU member Eliab Murey said.

“If they don’t hear us, then we will block the road to the NCPB until we get better prices.” Murey said the unions are mobilising farmers to push for better prices.

Kipkorir Menjo from KFA said new Agriculture CS Willy Bett has his plate full. The CS will have to immediately deal with the farmers’ challenges, he said.

Menjo said the NCPB is not regulating the market in farmers’ interests. The board has said it will purchase 1.7 million bags of maize using Sh4 billion given by the state.

It has bought 100,000 bags in three weeks. Board CEO Newton Terer said the maize had been delivered at Eldoret, Mois Bridge and Ziwa depots.

“We are receiving maize at a quick pace and all the depots are now open,” he told the Star on the phone.