Agriculture PS Demands Apology from Standard Over Maize Prices Report

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Agriculture PS Demands Apology from Standard Over Maize Prices Report

Agriculture and Research Principal Secretary Prof. Hamadi Boga on Tuesday issued a statement dismissing reports in sections of the media that the government would purchase a 90kg bag of maize from farmers at Sh3,000.

In a strongly-worded statement, Boga singled out The Standard, describing a report in the local daily as “riddled with factual misstatements and misrepresentations that can only be malicious”.

Boga further demanded that the newspaper apologize for publication of the story he maintained should be disregarded.

“My attention has been drawn to a story (by Otiato Guguyu) in today’s (December 18) The Standard Newspaper which quotes me as ‘settling’ the debate between Government, farmers and politicians. The author of the article did not write it with the best intention for Kenyan farmers…

“The recommendation from the Strategic Food Reserve Board was to purchase 2 million bags at 2,300/= per 90kg bag.The cabinet approved that recommendation which has not changed and which as a PS, I can only implement,” the statement read in part.

Vehicles outside an NCPB depot

Boga had been quoted indicating that the government had chosen to improve it’s offer to farmers to Sh3,000 per 90 kg bag.

“There is a lot of politics in the maize debate when we said Sh2,500, the price was still moved to Sh3,000.

“But when you look at production through the satellite imagery, even if we go to Sh5,000 a bag, the farmers will still not break even because of the low yield,” he stated at a meeting of agriculture experts to harmonise regulation on seed varieties in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) region.

With the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) embroiled in mega-corruption scandals, farmers have decried delayed payments and low prices.

A section of lawmakers led by Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter and his Moiben counterpart Silas Tiren had threatened to lead farmers in protests if the price for a 90kg bag was not set at Sh3,000, at least.

Bags of maize at an NCPB depot

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