The government will buy one million bags of maize from farmers starting next month, Agriculture and Livestock Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi has discloded.
According to the CS, the maize will be purchased through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) for the National Strategic Food Reserve.
Appearing before the Senate Agriculture committee on Thursday, October 12, Linturi noted that only registered farmers will benefit from the plan set to start from the second week of November.
“The NCPB stores are ready and we will be buying the maize from only registered farmers from the second week of November,” said Linturi.
The CS added that the government will buy a 90kg bag of maize at Sh4,000.
“My ministry is committed to making the country food secure through improved food production and better earnings for all farmers,” said the CS.
The announcement comes just days after President William Ruto banned importation of maize and wheat into the country to protect local farmers.
CS Linturi said the exercise had been delayed because of lack of enough government dryers.
He however disclosed that the government has now bought 100 dryers at a cost of Sh2.2 million which will be arriving in the country next month.
The CS told Kirinyaga Senator James Murango-chaired committee that the mobile dryers will assist farmers in drying their grains before purchase by the government as well as reducing post-harvest losses.
He said farmers will be charged Sh70 per 90kg bag to use the dryers compared to the Sh400 per bag they were previously being charged.
“The mobile dryers will enable farmers to preserve the quality of their maize and increase their income. This is a significant development, as post-harvest losses have been a major challenge for farmers in the past,” he said.