Maize farmers call for state support to stabilize prices

Maize farmers call for state support to stabilize prices

Maize farmers across the country are pushing the government to buy their produce to save them from exploitation by middlemen.

This however could be a long shot as the government still owes the farmers over Ksh3.5 billion.

A spot-check by Citizen Digital revealed in some counties, a two kilogram tin popular as gorogoro is retailing for as low as Ksh30, down from Ksh150 few months earlier.

This attributed to good rains that delivered a bumper harvest to most regions in the country with farmers airing their growing frustrations.

“We farmed this maize at a high cost and are now selling it at even Ksh20 for a small tin,” James Matete a maize farmer in Bungoma said.

This has forced farmers to remain at the mercy of brokers with some still demanding payment for maize supplied to the National Cereal and Produce Board (NCPB).

Areas such as Bungoma, Trans Nzoia and Uasin Gishu hard hit by the wave of low prices.

“We still haven’t been paid for the maize we sold to NCPB. The government should first pay us for that maize because right now there is no market,” John Boit a farmer in Trans Nzoia said.

But this quest may be a long shot as the national government through NCPB still owe farmers billions of shillings.

“The total amount owed to farmers is Ksh3.5 billion. We have released Ksh1.4 billion and will commence with these payments,” Devolution cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa said on Monday.

NCPB contracted transporters too are demanding over a billion shillings withheld since March for maize and fertilizer distribution services.

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Story By Dennis Otieno
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