I have directed the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture to authorize the National and Cereals Produce Board through the Strategic Food Reserve to immediately open in coordination with respective County governments, open buying centres and stores to receive maize from farmers across the country. The Strategic Food Reserve has been authorized to purchase two (2) million, 90Kg bags of maize at KSh. 2,500 per bag.
Following various Government interventions and the good weather experienced in 2018, we have had a bumper harvest to the tune of 46 million bags. In addition, there is about 2.5 million bags carried over from the 2017 harvest. The Government will simultaneously release 1.7 million 90Kg bags of maize at Ksh. 1,600 and an additional 300,000 bags of animal feed at KSh. 1,400 per bag.
It is clear that currently there is sufficient maize in the market selling at between KSh.1,700 and Ksh.1,800 per 90Kg per bag. With these interventions, I do not expect any changes in the existing price of Unga.
I call upon the investigative agencies to expedite verification process to ensure maize farmers are paid as soon as possible.
Last year during Madaraka day I directed the Ministry of Agriculture to finalize the audit and verify pending payments to sugar cane farmers. I am pleased to confirm that the process has been successfully completed and I therefore direct the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Treasury to immediately start the process of paying the farmers.
Finally, let me reiterate that the Government remains committed to supporting farmers to increase agricultural productivity. In this context, I have directed the Ministry to accelerate the implementation of interventions that have been agreed upon under the Big Four Food and Security Agenda.