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Economy

Ministry, task force meet to discuss findings on maize woes

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The maize task force and the Ministry of Agriculture met Friday to validate the report of the committee as the State seeks to solve the problems bedevilling maize farmers.

This is after the task force collected views from the farmers and other stakeholders on the challenges that faces the maize industry and the farmers at large.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri said the report will be made public next week after it has been validated by the task force.

“The report on the findings of the maize task force will be released next week after it has been validated,” said Mr Kiunjuri.

Mr Kiunjuri said the task force will thereafter be required to develop an implementation work-plan and aimed at improving the sector once the report is adopted.

This comes at a time when farmers are facing increased challenges along the value chain, which range from farming inputs to market access.

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The State has this year been accused by farmers for starting late to buy maize from the previous season, leaving them at the mercies of cartels who have been offering rock bottom prices.

The buying of maize started this week but there were delays occasioned by lack of vetting forms.

NCPB has capped the purchase of maize at 400 bags worth Sh1 million as the government moves to tame traders and large scale holders who have been accused of abusing the window at the expense of small scale farmers.

According to the government, any registered farmer with more than 400 bags of the produce must be cleared by Strategic Food Reserve (SFR).

The SFR, which is buying two million bags from growers this year, says brokers, traders and middlemen are not eligible to sell their grain to the board.

“The purchase targets smallholder farmers with up to 400 bags of 90kg; brokers, middlemen and traders are not eligible,” says ministry of Agriculture in a statement.

The report of the task force is aimed at bringing back sanity to the sector and ensure growers get the best out of their farming.



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