North Rift cereal farmers protest low price of produce
Cereal farmers from the North Rift region took to the streets of Eldoret town to protest the low prices being offered for their produce.
The farmers, led by the Trans Nzoia County gubernatorial aspirant, Joshua arap Sang, have appealed to the government to review the maize prices as the farmers are experiencing losses from their produce.
“We have issued a two-week ultimatum to the government to respond accordingly to our woes, failure to which we will force us back to the streets to fight for our rights,” said Sang.
Sang further called on leaders and businesspersons importing maize to the country complaining that they are setting back maize farming in the country.
“Leaders and businesspersons importing maize into the country should stop doing so otherwise we will be forced to reveal their names to the public.”
The farmers are demanding that the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) purchase their maize produce at Ksh 3,000 and wheat at Ksh 3,200 per 90kg bag.
Maize is currently retailing at Ksh 2,300 and wheat at Ksh 3,000 per 90 Kg bag.
The farmers led by the Kenya National Farmers Federation of Agricultural Producers Chairman, Musa Barno, further complained of receiving poor quality fertilizer saying that it has spoiled the quality of their produce.
Mid last month while opening University of Eldoret Trade Fair, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Willy Bett, said that the Ministry was currently reviewing the prices based on the cost of production.
The government last year bought 500,000 bags through the Strategic Food Grain Reserve and Plans to double this figure to one million bags this season.
The cereals board was allocated with Ksh 3.4 billion in 2013/2014, Ksh 2.7 billion in 2014/2015 and 1.6 billion for the 2015/2016 financial year in the national budget.
The subsidy fertilizer program was allocated Ksh 4.9 billion during the 2015/2016 financial year.
Written by Velma Barasa
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