The National Cereals and Produce Board has effective today opened its stores for farmers to dry and store maize at a fee.

Joseph Kimote, NCPB managing director said on September 28, a presidential directive was issued to NCPB to review maize drying charges for farmers by 50 per cent from Sh40 to Sh20 per unit drop of moisture content.

In a statement sent on Friday, Kimote said the Board was directed to avail its stores to farmers, farmer groups and traders at affordable costs.

He said the board was also directed to review its storage charges from Sh10 to Sh3 per 50 kg bag per month.

“We would like to notify farmers, farmers’ cooperatives and other interested parties that NCPB’s facilities are open for them to utilize and therefore, the board is prepared to offer the aforementioned services at the prescribed rates as directed,” said Kimote.

He said NCPB has drying facilities in its major silos located in Narok, Nakuru, Mois Bridge, Eldoret, Kitale, Kisumu and Bungoma.

He called on farmers to use these facilities to ensure that they reduce post-harvest losses on their grain.

“The Board has storage facilities distributed countrywide. In all these facilities that comprise conventional stores and silos complexes, storage services are offered at competitive rates,” he said.

Last week, NCPB said the government owes it Sh18 billion dating back to 2017.

Kimote said the money was accrued from the purchase of subsidy maize and fertiliser.

He said some government institutions and agencies are yet to pay their debt for grain management and purchase of fertiliser that the cereals board did on their behalf.

Kimote, however, said discussions are underway with the government to address the issue.

He said NCPB is planning to buy at least three million bags of maize from farmers for the long rains season harvest.

The director said they are prepared to buy over three million bags and with the minimum price of Sh2,500 per 90kg bag as directed by the President, this will cost an estimated Sh7.5 billion.

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