Ten counties with surplus maize stock
As the government fast-tracks mopping up of surplus food supplies as part of its preparedness in combating the coronavirus pandemic, emerging data shows that hundreds of farmers are stocking maize in their stores due to unstructured markets. Maize surplus in stores across the country – which could help ensure food security in Covid-19 war - stands at 10,124,274 bags. Here are counties holding massive stocks of maize in their stores, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Aptly named the food basket of Kenya, this is the harbour of maize production in the country.
However, because of price wars with the government and National Cereals and Produce Board, the biggest hoarding of maize takes place here, especially in Kitale, Endebes and Kiminini. The annual production of maize is 4,738,878 bags against a population of 990,431 persons.
It is estimated that 82,528 bags are consumed monthly against an annual consumption rate of 990,341.
In the last harvest, only 568,665 bags was sold to millers, brokers and traders with a staggering 3,179,871 bags in current surplus.
Of all this, 70 per cent is being held in stock by farmers who are anticipating higher prices.
2. Uasin Gishu
The second largest county in maize production, Uasin Gishu has an annual production of 3,604,067 against a healthy population of 1,163,186 persons.
The monthly consumption of the North Rift county is 96,932 bags against an annual consumption equivalent to the population of the county as per the latest census.
Statistics show that 432,488 bags were collectively sold to millers, brokers and traders and a massive 2,008,393 are currently in store as surplus.
The stock being held in stores by farmers across the vast county is estimated at 70 per cent.
It is another county which has had run ins with the government through NCPB due to poor pricing of commodities even as the market is flooded with cheaper maize from abroad.
The economy of the county is driven mainly agriculture, centering on the sugarcane and maize industries.
The area experiences high rainfall throughout the year, and is home to several large rivers, which are used for small-scale irrigation.
Maize being a staple food here has this year been greatly affected by locust invasion and such quantities and quality standards dwindled heavily.
This region, according to statistics has an annual maize production of 3,507,900, 90 kilo bags against a population of 1,670,750 with an average consumption of 139,214 bags monthly and 1,670,570 annually.
At the moment, there is a surplus of 1,416,382 bags with only 420,948 bags being sold out to brokers, traders and millers.
At least 70 per cent is being held by farmers and traders or middlemen as they bid to get higher prices when the situation gets dire.
The North Rift county has an annual maize production of 2,045,856 bags against a population of 885,711 persons.
The monthly consumption in the county is in the region of 73,809 bags while the annual equivalent is 885,711 bags.
The number of bags sold in the last harvest to traders, millers and brokers was 204,586 bags while incredibly the surplus stands at 955,559 bags in stores across the region.
Over 70 per cent as well is being held by farmers (both small-scale and large-scale).
Cereals farmers in the region have constantly taken issue with what they said was a declining trend of budget allocations to the sector.
Some of them are hoarding their maize produce due to a shortage of the grain in the market as the government plans to slash budget allocation to the sector in the 2019/2020 financial year to Sh59.1 billion and freeze funding to strategic grains reserve and fertiliser subsidy.
5. Elgeyo Marakwet
It has an average annual production of 1,160,967 bags of maize on a good season against a population of only 454,480 persons.
The monthly consumption of this staple food is 37,873 bags. In the last harvest, 139,316 bags were sold with the current surplus standing at 567,171 bags.
At the moment, a whopping 70 per cent of the stocks are being held in custody by the farmers who are anticipating good cash in the coming months.
Incidentally, the annual consumption of maize in the North Rift county, according to Ministry of Agriculture statistics, is directly equivalent to the population as per the latest census data.
The western Kenya county has an average annual maize production of 2,877,811 bags against a population of 1,867,579 as per the latest census report.
The county has an annual consumption rate of 1,867,579 which balances for the population and a monthly consumption of 155,632 bags.
All this coming after the County government last month announced to residents and farmers that they will pay for 60 per cent of the total cost of the inputs for a single bag of maize or fertiliser as the county government absorbs the remaining 40 per cent cost for them, unlike last year when the two shared the cost on a 50/50 basis.
The number of bags sold to brokers, traders and millers was 345,337 in total while the surplus standing currently is 664,895 bags with 70 per cent of stocks being held in granaries currently.
The Southern Nyanza county has an annual production of 1,505,167 bags against a population of 1, 1116,436 persons. In the latest data by Ministry of Agriculture, 86,000 bags are consumed monthly against an annual demand of 1,032,000 bags.
A figure of 288,792 bags were sold to brokers, traders and millers during the last harvest while the current surpluses is at 184,375 bags and at least 70 per cent of that stock is being held by farmers in their stores.
The biggest food producer the former Nyanza Province, the county has also seen a large rise in numbers of maize bags being hoarded.
With an average annual production of 1,605,333 bags against a population of 1,266,860, Ministry of Agriculture latest statistics have shown that the monthly consumption of maize is in the region stands at 105,572 bags and the annual consumption is at 1,266,860 bags.
Of this figure, 160,533 bags have already been sold to millers, traders and brokers while at the same time there is a surplus of 177,940 bags available or 70 per cent being held in stores by farmers.
The former Eastern Province county has an annual 90-kilo production of 1,233,844 against a population of 1,136,187 persons as per the latest Kenya National Statistics Bureau report.
The consumption figure monthly for the county is 94,682 bags while the overall annual consumption by the residents is at 1,136,187, a similar number to the population of the county which would average a bag a head.
The number of bags sold to brokers, millers and traders after the last harvest stood at 61,692 bags while the current surpluses stand at 35,965 bags. The surplus in stores is 70 per cent being held by farmers.
The vast county is a food hub and cereal producers are aplenty here because of demand for their produce.
For the last five years, maize production in the county has been declining due to a mix of factors such as prevalence of pest and diseases and climate risks in addition to problems along the value chain.
Nevertheless, the county has the potential to produce tonnes of maize if modern farming methods can be applied to increase production per unit area.
The county has an annual maize production of 2,386,489 bags of 90 kilos against a population of 2,162,202 persons.
The monthly consumption in the former Rift Valley Province headquarters is estimated at 180,184 bags against an annual consumption of 2,162,202 bags.
At least 190,919 bags were sold to millers, brokers and traders following the last harvest with 33,368 bags standing as current surpluses.
Over 70 per cent of that stock is being held by farmers in granaries and warehouses.