Deliver produce to board, MPs urge farmers

Published on 09/12/2008

By Robert Wanyonyi

Two MPs have appealed to farmers in Western Province and the North Rift to deliver maize to the National Cereals and Produce Board stores.

They urged them to take their cereals to the board as they negotiated for better prices with the Government.

Cherang’any MP Joshua Kutuny and his Saboti counterpart Eugene Wamalwa said yesterday refusal by maize farmers to deliver their produce was counter-productive.

In separate interviews with The Standard, the two MPs said farmers might not get fertiliser for next year’s planting season if the stores were closed.

“We are still negotiating with the Government to increase the price of maize because we also feel the returns are is still far below the expectations,” said Mr Kutuny.

He said he would lead farmers in demonstrations to press for better prices if their demands were not met on time.

Mr Wamalwa advised farmers against selling maize to middlemen who, he said, were the cause of the rising cost of maize flour.

“Apart from inflated price of the same commodity mid-next year, the middlemen are the same people causing an imbalance of prices between the farmer, NCPB and the millers,” said Wamalwa.

He said more NCPB depots will be opened in all maize-growing areas as a Government measure to ward off greedy and unscrupulous middlemen.

Kutuny accused the Government of double standards over the food crisis for allegedly favouring the rich and urban residents at the expense of farmers.

“Why did the Government move fast to resolve maize flour prices after Nairobi residents protested? Why did the same Government act fast to meet flour millers and give them better incentives while the poor farmers who toiled hard to produce the cereal was only given peanuts?” asked the legislator.

The MPs were reacting to a recent threat by farmers in Eldoret to boycott delivery of maize produce to the board citing poor produce prices.

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