The National Cereal and Produce Board (NCPB) has announced the commencement of maize purchases from farmers in the North Rift region, with the goal of bolstering local agriculture. This strategic move aims not only to support local farmers but also to guarantee a steady grain reserve for the nation as the harvesting season peaks.

As the entity entrusted with managing the nation’s grain reserve, the NCPB has outlined explicit criteria for procuring maize. The board will only entertain offers from farmers who hold valid registrations with the Ministry of Agriculture. Additionally, any purchased maize must comply with the stipulated dryness levels set by East African quality standards, emphasizing its suitability for human consumption.

Titus Maiyo, the Corporate Affairs Manager at NCPB, disclosed the board’s strategic plan to procure maize at a rate of Sh4,000 per 90 kg bag. This transparent pricing structure, meticulously designed for fairness in compensating farmers, ensures prompt remuneration upon the delivery of their produce.

“The maize we purchase is for human consumption and must, therefore, strictly meet all the required quality parameters,” emphasized Maiyo, highlighting the importance of maintaining high standards within the national grain reserve.

To expedite the process, farmers are encouraged to deliver maize with a moisture content below 18 percent to assigned silos equipped with drying facilities. As an additional support measure, drying services are subsidized, allowing farmers to pay a nominal fee of Sh70 for each 90 kg bag’s drying operation until it reaches the optimal moisture content of precisely 13.5 percent.

Drying facilities are available in strategic locations such as Kitale, Mois Bridge, and Eldoret in the North Rift region. This initiative is expected to have a positive impact on maize prices, which plummeted to an alarming low of Sh3,400 in some areas within the North Rift.

At this crucial time, the NCPB’s effort serves as a lifeline to farmers, contributing to overall stability in the agricultural sector. The board’s dual goals of ensuring a robust maize supply through stringent quality standards and transparent pricing while safeguarding local farmers’ interests are poised to create positive ripples in the agricultural landscape. This concerted effort not only benefits consumers but also supports the hardworking farmer population who plays a vital role in our nation’s food security.