“Some of the maize we have in our silos has stayed for more than the recommended period of six months. The maize we are holding is about nine months old but is becoming yellowish and brownish, making it unattractive to millers who may not buy it,” Mr Sang told an ad-hoc committee that is investigating importation of maize during last year’s duty free window that opened in July and closed in December 2017.
Mr Sang said lack of a functional SFR board and its failure to meet has rendered NCPB incapable of removing and packaging maize in the silos for storage in other locations.
The NCPB said it has empty space at several of its 110 stores countrywide with a capacity to hold 21.52 million bags.
The board also has silos in the grain basket region and Nairobi with a storage capacity of 3,090,000 bags -- excluding Cypress Bins of about 1.5 million 90kg bags.
Mr Sang said the SFR has to get Cabinet approval to dispose of the maize at lower than Sh3,200.
“This will take long and it’s a dilemma for the Ministry of Devolution. The maize is still good for human consumption, but the colour has changed,” said Mr Sang.
He said NCPB wants the Agriculture ministry to allow the board to buy gunny bags and move the maize to empty silos across the country given that SFR must foot the bill of the bags and guide NCPB on where the maize should be moved to.
Mr Sang said Agriculture secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has committed to filling the vacant board posts to enable the agency fulfil its mandate.