Senate Investigates Maize Problems In Trans Nzoia.

Farmers in the North Rift want National Cereals and Produce Board to be disbanded for inefficiency.

The farmers, who were presenting their views to the Senate Committee on Agriculture expressed their disappointment over what they termed as delay in paying farmers and also buying maize from unscrupulous traders.

Uasin Gishu Senator Prof. Margaret Kamar leads the ad hoc Senate Committee to the Kitale National Museum during a public forum to collect views of farmers on the maize crisis in Trans Nzoia.

The farmers, through one large scale farmer Benson Kakai, asked the government to facilitate them form SACCOs and own stores to buy maize from farmers.

“We are going to form SACCOs and maize farmers will be pulling together to buy maize from members. We also want the government to find us market for our produce,” they said.

The Senate Committee chaired by Uasin Gishu senator Prof. Margaret Kamar is touring North Rift and parts of Western to establish causes of the woes facing maize farmers in the region.

Professor Kamar said that at least 1.4 billion was available last month for payment but this was just to cover 40% of farmers.

According to Prof Kamar, some farmers who had borrowed loans to invest in farming were suffering penalties from financial institutions.

She said that the mess at the National Cereals Board had discouraged many farmers from continuing with maize farming adding that some had opted for other ventures.

She also revealed that her committee was investigating the presence of aflatoxin in the maize that was purchased by the board.

According to Kamar, the Senate Committee was expecting a report from the Kenya National Bureau of Standards (KEBS) that would shed light on maize worth 8million which was suspected to be spoilt.

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