The Kenyan government has unveiled a plan to acquire one million bags of locally grown maize, offering an enhanced price of Ksh.4,000 per 90-kilogram sack, in response to a successful harvest by farmers. Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi made this announcement during his appearance before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries on Thursday. He emphasized that the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) would oversee the procurement of maize for the National Strategic Food Reserve.
Furthermore, Linturi revealed that the government has already acquired mobile dryers to assist farmers in the drying process of their grains before government purchase. Linturi explained that these mobile dryers would enable farmers to maintain the quality of their maize and increase their income, marking a significant advancement as post-harvest losses have historically been a major challenge for farmers.
Linturi also reassured the Committee, chaired by Senator James Murango of Kirinyaga County, that his ministry is actively addressing the challenges associated with macadamia nut production and marketing, with the ultimate aim of making the sub-sector more profitable.
In his statement, Linturi highlighted the government’s efforts to explore international markets to ensure that Kenyan farmers can benefit from the macadamia sub-sector. He expressed the commitment of his ministry to enhance food security in the country by improving food production and increasing earnings for all farmers.
Linturi’s announcement coincides with President William Ruto’s recent ban on issuing permits to millers for importing wheat or maize. This move is intended to safeguard local farmers and stabilize prices. The President also pledged that the government would allocate Ksh.4 billion to purchase maize from farmers and urged them not to sell their produce at low prices.
Additionally, the President revealed plans to use NCPB dryers to reduce post-harvest losses by offering farmers the opportunity to dry their maize at a reduced fee of Ksh.50 per bag, down from the current rate of Ksh.400 per bag, even if they do not wish to sell their maize to NCPB.