Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Andrew Tuimur. FILE PHTO | NMG
Maize farmers can now breathe a sigh of relief after the Kenyan government released Sh1.4b out of Sh3.5bn as payment for 4.3m bags of maize delivered to the National Cereals and Produce Board during the 2017 harvest season.
According to the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Andrew Tuimur, farmers will be paid Sh3,200 for every 90kg bag up from Sh3,000 last year, an increase of 6.7 per cent.
The funds will be disbursed to farmers through NCPB depots across the country and will benefit farmers who have undergone the vetting process that was initiated by the government in April this year.
The money is part of the Sh3.5 billion that the government owes farmers.
Dr Tuimur said only those who have been vetted will benefit from the cash. Growers supplied over 4.3 million bags of maize to the board in the last season crop.
The government started fresh vetting of farmers in April after it was discovered that there were unscrupulous traders who supplied cheap imported grain from Uganda to benefit from the government price of Sh3,200 per 90 kilo bag.
NCPB on Monday said it was waiting for the funds to be wired from the Ministry of Devolution anytime from now before it starts distributing to the farmers.
The ministry had requested for additional funds from the National Treasury after it was allocated Sh1.9 billion in the supplementary budget to cater for farmers’ debts.
The Agriculture ministry had requested Sh3.6 billion to clear part of the dues.
Imports from Uganda have started flooding the market and there are fears that the cheap maize will again find its way to NCPB depots.