Farmers in Uasin Gishu County have rejected a new price for maize that was set by the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
NCPB in a notice to the public said it was opening its doors to start receiving maize from farmers who are now in the harvesting season.
According to the notice, the board will be buying a 50-kilogram bag of maize at Ksh1,305.
“NCPB now open purchasing of maize from 17th November 2021 @KSHS.1,305 PER 50KGS,” read part of a notice.
But addressing a media briefing at the Teachers Advisory Centre (TAC) in Eldoret town after a closed-door meeting, the farmers led by the Uasin Gishu Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) Director Kipkorir Menjo said the price was too low when compared to the high cost of production.
They are now demanding that NCPB reviews the set price to at least Ksh1,700 per 50-kilogram bag.
“The cost of production in Kenya is too high. The government must look at ways to lower it, and one way is providing farmers with fertilizer subsidy,” Menjo noted.
He also called on the government to consider purchasing at least 2 million 90-kg bags of maize so as to help stabilize the market price.
Moiben Member of Parliament who is also the Chairperson of the National Assembly Agriculture Committee, Silas Tiren, who attended the meeting reiterated farmers’ demands saying with the high cost of production, Ksh1,700 per 50-kilogram bag was the lowest price they can accept.
“NCPB must base their price setting on the cost of production. We want to know what they used to come up with the Ksh1,305 price when our calculations show that it should be Ksh1,700 on the lower side.”– Silas Tiren, MP Moiben
Tiren also called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene on the pricing issue as well as address the high cost of production which he noted is contributed by the high cost of fuel and levies imposed on farm implement machinery.