In Summary
  • Agriculture secretary Willy Bett announced the price, which is six per cent more than last year’s when the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) paid Sh3,000 for similar quantity of maize.
  • Of the Sh3,200 that the government will pay, Sh200 is rebate to the growers for the extra cost incurred during planting.
  • Egerton University-based think tank-Tegemeo Institute, however, faulted the price terming it high with very negative impact on consumer prices when the subsidy programme comes to an end this month.

Grain farmers reacted sharply to the government’s announcement that it will buy maize at a price of Sh3,200 per bag of 90 kg this year, insisting that the amount was way below their expectation.

Agriculture secretary Willy Bett announced the price, which is six per cent more than last year’s when the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) paid Sh3,000 for similar quantity of maize.

Mr Bett said the government had set aside Sh7.1 billion to buy 2.4 million bags of maize to replenish the Strategic Food Reserve (SFR) beginning next week.

“Based on the cost of production and in consideration of the farmers’ mark-up of 35 per cent (Sh790 per bag), the SFR Board has recommended that the producer price for a 90 kg bag of maize be Sh3,000,” he said.

Of the Sh3,200 that the government will pay, Sh200 is rebate to the growers for the extra cost incurred during planting.

“Owing to the adverse weather conditions coupled with other numerous challenges such as outbreak of Fall Armyworm during the period, the government has provided a rebate of Sh200 per 90 kg bag of maize offered to NCPB,” he added.

Egerton University-based think tank-Tegemeo Institute, however, faulted the price terming it high with very negative impact on consumer prices when the subsidy programme comes to an end this month.
“The new price is extremely high. The ideal cost of a 90 kilogramme bag of maize should be Sh2,700,” said Miltone Ayieko, a director at the institute.

Mr Bett’s announcement came only a week after Tegemeo released the findings of a study indicating that the cost of producing a 90 kilogramme bag of maize stood at Sh2,200 this year, meaning that farmers will make Sh1,000 for every bag sold to NCPB.

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