Kiunjuri: 60% of maize in NCPB stores unfit for human consumption


Kiunjuri: 60% of maize in NCPB stores unfit for human consumption
File image of Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • Appearing before the National Assembly Committee on Agriculture on Wednesday, Kiunjuri wondered how the maize got bad yet it has been in the storage facilities for less than a year.
  • Kiunjuri said a total of 10 million bags were imported into the country yet the government had gazetted the importation of 6 million bags.
  • The CS further told the committee that the government is caught between a rock and a hard place on what to do with the maize which has already cost taxpayers Ksh.9 billion.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri now says that more than half of the maize stored in the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) silos is unfit for human consumption.

Appearing before the National Assembly Committee on Agriculture on Wednesday, Mr. Kiunjuri wondered how the maize got bad yet it has been in the storage facilities for less than a year.

“For maize that was brought in a year ago, it’s not right that it’s being declared unfit for human consumption. Yet maize shelf life if well kept is 24 months,” said Kiunjuri.

He told the committee that four million bags of maize were illegally imported into the country in 2017.

Kiunjuri said a total of 10 million bags were imported into the country yet the government had gazetted the importation of 6 million bags.

The CS further told the committee that the government is caught between a rock and a hard place on what to do with the maize which has already cost taxpayers Ksh.9 billion.

“There is an argument between the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and NCPB on what should happen to the maize that is deemed unfit for human consumption,” said Kiunjuri.

“If the maize came in October last year, its very worrying that we could get a destruction order for even 50% of the maize. This means I have to get a big broom and sweep NCPB.”

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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