Relief to Farmers as Government Launches 100 Mobile Grain Dryers

Relief to Farmers as Government Launches 100 Mobile Grain Dryers

Farmers in the North Rift region have a reason to smile following Tuesday’s launch of the mobile grain dryers.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Lituri presided over the launch of the dryers at the Eldoret National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depot.

Speaking during the event, the CS said the dryers have been delivered as fulfilment of the pledge recently made by President William Ruto.

As recently promised by H.E President William Ruto, I have this morning flagged off the first consignment of grain dryers that will be distributed in the larger Rift Valley region,” Linturi said.

The 100 grain dryers will be distributed across the country,” he added.

CS Linturi with Governor Bii during the flaging off of the maize dryers at the Eldoret NCPB depot on November 21, 2023. Photo/@mithika_Linturi.
CS Linturi with Governor Bii during the flagging off of the maize dryers at the Eldoret NCPB depot on November 21, 2023. Photo/@mithika_Linturi.

Each of the dryers has a capacity to dry 14 tonnes of maize in two hours.

CS Linturi pointed out that with the dryers now available in the country’s food basket “they will drastically help our farmers to reduce post-harvest losses leading to increased farmers earnings and a more stable grain reserve for the country.”

My Ministry is keen on empowering farmers to earn more revenues from agriculture through the use of modern technology,” he added.

Post-harvest management has been a major challenge in Kenya’s agricultural sector with an estimated loss of 20%-30% of harvested crops.

Open-field maize drying

The dryers have been availed at a time when farmers have been worried over the ongoing heavy rainfall occasioned by El Nino.

Most of the farmers in the region usually dry their maize in open fields, but it has been almost impossible with the rains.

However, according to Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii Chelilim, that is about to come to an end with the new facilities.

Governor Bii and the CS when they arrived at the Ziwa NCPB deport for a demo to farmers on how maize will be dried using the dryers to achieve the desired moisture levels and reduce post harvest losses. Photo/@mithika_Linturi.
Governor Bii and the CS when they arrived at the Ziwa NCPB deport for a demo to farmers on how maize will be dried using the dryers to achieve the desired moisture levels and reduce post-harvest losses. Photo/@mithika_Linturi.

These dryers have come at a time when we really need them. I am very sure that the issue of drying maize along the road and open fields will come to an end,” Bii said.

He assured that the dryers will be sent to areas that have the highest need.

In addition, the county boss advised farmers to ensure they dry not only maize destined for sale but also their own consumption.

Aflatoxin is a challenge and it’s good that farmers know they have to dry all the maize, whether it’s for sale or consumption. All the maize should be dried properly,” Bii noted.

One of the mobile grain dryers that will be avaible for use amongst farmers in Uasin Gishu.
One of the mobile grain dryers that will be available for use amongst farmers in Uasin Gishu.

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