State agency urges farmers to deliver grain to depot and promises to pay them in time.
Farmers in the North Rift are shunning the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depots and delivering maize to traders owing to prompt pay and competitive prices offered.
The move has seen most depots in the region register minimal queues of trucks loaded with maize waiting to deliver the produce.
This is a contrast to previous months, when farmers were forced to camp outside various NCPB depots due to tedious vetting processes.
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“We understand the market prices have gone up, warranting most farmers to seek alternative buyers instead of bringing their grain to the depots,” said NCPB North Rift Regional Manager Gilbert Rotich.
Out of the expected 2 million bags by Strategic Food Reserve, NCPB depots in the region have already purchased 639,349 bags of maize, each weighing 50 kilogrammes.
“The bags are worth Sh890 million and they are a representation of farmers who delivered their produce up to March 3, this year,” added Mr Rotich.
According to Rotich, they have been able to pay Sh471 million to farmers who have delivered their grain. They have promised to pay the balance later.
“We are optimistic that by the end of this week we will have received the remaining amount of money so that farmers do not face financial challenges as planting season commences,” he said.
He challenged farmers to deliver their grain to the depot, insisting that they would be paid in time.
However, farmers are currently selling their maize to private traders at between Sh2,200 and Sh2,500 per 90-kilogramme bag.
They argue that due to high demand for the grain, millers and other market players are at the grassroots buying it at better price.
“The reason as to why supply has gone down is because we are receiving buyers at our homesteads at a cost of Sh2,500 per bag. This has made it easy for us because of their prompt pay,” said Stephen Kiplagat, a farmer from Kesses.
Kimutai Kolum, another farmer, cited frustrations of long queues as one of the key reasons for shunning NCPB depots.
“Initially, farmers were being forced to park their tractors on queues for more than a month waiting to deliver their grain,” he said.
Prices in areas such as Kisumu and Kakamega stand at Sh2,500 while in Bungoma it is Sh2,450. In Uasin Gishu, it ranges from Sh2,200 to Sh2,500 per bag.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.