Farmers vow to boycott maize farming over poor prices
A section of maize farmers in Trans-Nzoia County have threatened to boycott planting the crop next season due to poor prices and failure by the national government to pay them on time.
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The farmers accused the national government of frustrating their farming activities citing delayed payment of over Sh 250 million for deliveries in the area to national Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
The government owes maize farmers across the country Sh3.5 billion for maize delivered to NCPB last season for Strategic Food Reserves (SFR).
The farmers said they are yet to sell last season’s crop due to lack of market and poor prices.
During a meeting in Kitale on Tuesday, the farmers said they are tired of frustration from the national government and will shift to other ventures.
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“We have suffered for many years. The National government is giving us a raw deal and we have been discouraged by poor prices and lack of market for the produce,” lamented Tom Nyagechaga.
They accused the government of allowing cartels to ship in cheap maize to the NCPB at their expense.
“We have huge stocks from last season and there is no market. The prices have sharply dropped to as low as Sh1,500 for 90 kg bag,” protested John Maina.
The government, they argued, may not achieve food security agenda if farmers continue to lack incentives to double productivity.
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Maize farming, they noted, has become frustrating and unprofitable adding that they will shift to dairy farming hoping for better returns.
“We don’t know where we will take the current crop when it is ready by October. It is discoursing that the government owe us a lot of money,” added Nyagechaga.