Govt to audit NCPB famers’ register

Govt to audit NCPB famers' register

Local farmers registered under the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) will be freshly audited ahead of the next harvest season in a move geared at protecting the farmers against unscrupulous traders importing maize from neighboring countries in the region.

The new audit by the Ministry of Agriculture is expected to scrutinize farmers’ acreage against other farmer details before allowing the supply of maize for sale to the NCPB silos across the country.

Agriculture cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri expects the move to cushion maize farmers in the country against unfair competition from maize imports.

“We must protect our people. We are not fighting individuals looking to sell their imported produce. All we are doing is to ensure that local farmers are not affected by these imports,” Mr Kiunjuri said.

The Ministry of Agriculture will work alongside counties to undertake the audit process.

Mr Kiunjuri has called on farmers to embrace the process as they stand to reap more from a streamlined maize buying process.

“The country stands to lose billions from subsidizing farmers from elsewhere. It is clear we have to register our farmers,” he added.

The Ministry of Agriculture has however assured Kenyans of the viability of local agricultural produce through the implementation of policies and strategies aimed at shielding the local market from external competition.

The government had purchased 3.4 million bags of maize as at March 2018 at a cost of Sh10.98 billion out of which Sh7 billion has already been paid to farmers.

The Ministry has promised a further Sh1 billion compensation to farmers through the supplementary budget.

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