State to buy maize from farmers at Sh4,000 per bag

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi. 

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

The government has promised to buy maize from farmers at Sh4,000 per 90-kilogramme bag, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi has announced.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony at Ndomba Animal Health and Industry Training Institute in Kirinyaga County on Wednesday, Mr Linturi said the new prices will protect farmers from being exploited by brokers.

The CS said the government had enough money to buy the maize and urged farmers to deliver their maize to the National Cereals and Produce Board stores. Currently, maize is being sold at Sh3,000 for a 90kg bag.

"We don't want farmers to be exploited by brokers and that is why we have allocated funds to purchase maize," he said.  

Mr Linturi assured farmers that the government was determined to ensure that they benefit. 
He also revealed that the government will provide machines to dry maize, rice and other cereals.

"We don't want farmers' produce to rot, so we will provide grain drying facilities," he said.

At the same time, Mr Linturi said the cost of artificial insemination services will be drastically reduced to make it affordable for farmers.

He said farmers will be assisted to acquire better breeds of animals through artificial insemination.

"We shall reduce the cost of artificial insemination from the current Sh7,000 to Sh3,000. Farmers play a key role in the growth of the economy and they must be supported by the government," he said.

The CS, who was accompanied by Kirinyaga Senator Kamau Murango, defended President William Ruto's government, saying it was determined to revive the economy.

He asked Kenyans to bear the pain as the government is working hard to reduce the cost of living.

"Everything will soon be fine, let us give the government time to revive the economy," he said.

The principal of the institute, Dr J.W. Macharia, told the CS that the college was understaffed and asked him to intervene.

He complained that a course at the college had been temporarily suspended due to lack of lecturers.

Mr Murango asked macadamia farmers not to sell their produce at throwaway prices. He said the price of macadamia had improved and farmers should not allow themselves to be exploited.

"Currently, the price of macadamia is Sh110 per kilogramme and farmers should not sell their produce for less than that," he said.