Inside Politics

NCPB starts buying maize from farmers for trading

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021 07:12 |
NCPB Managing director Joseph Kimote PHOTO/COURTESY

National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has started buying maize from farmers for commercial trading. Managing director Joseph Kimote yesterday confirmed that all the depots have been opened so that farmers can start selling their dry maize.

“We are using internal funds to buy the maize. As per the new business model, our focus is to buy about one million bags of 90 kilogrammes at Sh2,350.  We will directly purchase from the farmers as well as use the warehouse receipt system (WRS),” he told Business Hub in a phone interview.

Kimote (pictured) added that in all the depots there are 700,000 bags purchased from the farmers in 2020/21 season. The maize, he said is free of aflatoxin, well graded and ready for sale at Sh3, 100 per 90kg bag. He added: “We have worked out all the management logistics in relation to ongoing purchase and ensuring timely payment to maize once a farmer delivers to our deposits.”

Under WRS, Kimote explained that his organisation is persuading farmers to use the strategy to store their maize  and issued with the receipt which they can trade with later once the price improves. Further, willing farmers will still use the model to avoid post-harvest losses.

“We have over 30 stores certified under the warehouse receipt system placing us at a better position to commercially operate in the market,” he added.

Government under new reforms stopped factoring funds in the national budget to purchase maize from the farmers and instead transformed NCPB into a commercial entity.  

Various value chains
“Under the new reforms NCPB is now a commercial entity and we buy like any other players in the market. We have over 700,000 bags of maize in our stores which we bought from the farmers since last year and at the same time have been selling the same to various value chains,” Kimote stated.

Rains have kicked off in many places raising fears of post harvest losses, especially to farmers who have poor storage facilities.

Kimote urged farmers to use the WRS model so that they can store their maize in certified silos to prevent post-harvest losses, adding that even without being persuaded the growers can voluntarily deliver their produce to the stores.

Under the reforms enacted last year it was established within the NCPB the National Food Reserve buttressed on commercial processes.
– Nicholas Waitathu

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