The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has purchased over a million bags of maize from farmers, so far.
According to NCPB Chairman Mutea Iringo, following an increase in their price, more farmers started delivering their produce.
The board is currently purchasing a 90-kilogram bag of maize from farmers at Ksh3,000.
Maize being purchased is for commercial purposes, unlike in the past when NCPB bought maize for the Strategic Food Reserve (SFR).
“What we have in the store is for commercial purposes. We have bought about a million bags to date. The farmers are comfortable with the price, and we’re able to pay on the spot – within 24 hours,” said Iringo.
NCPB Managing Director Joseph Kimote, on his part, said they have over 300,000 bags of maize bought from farmers in the North Rift stores.
Farmers had earlier in December 2021 vowed not to sell their produce to NCPB after it announced that it would buy a bag of maize at Ksh2,350.
The price would later be reviewed upwards to Ksh2,700, before being raised again to Ksh3,000 – after most farmers were opting to sell directly to millers, who were offering a better price.
Bags of maize at NCPB will later be sold to millers once the country witnesses a shortage, in a move that the board uses to stabilize prices.
Warehouse Receipting System
Concerning the recently unveiled Warehouse Receipting System (WRS), the NCPB boss noted that there has been a slow uptake from farmers.
He, however, expressed optimism that it will pick up soon.
“WRS is a new concept. We have sensitized farmers on the importance of practicing it. It is a system that offers farmers the opportunity to sell the product when prices are competitive,” noted Kimote.
So far, over 2,000 bags of maize have been stored under the WRS.
“We have seen a slow uptake but we’re asking farmers to take full advantage. It is one of the innovative ideas we are implementing,” noted the NCPB MD.
Warehouse Receipt System (WRS) is a process where farmers deposit their commodities in a certified warehouse and are issued with a document of a title called a Warehouse Receipt as proof of ownership.
The receipt can be used to secure a loan, as a farmer waits for a better price for his/her produce.