Kericho millers groan as NCPB grain silos run dry

Business Daily Kenya:  Philip Yegon and Nicholas Waitathu @peopledailyKE National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depots in Kericho Count...

Business Daily Kenya: 

Maize store. Photo/COURTESY

Philip Yegon and Nicholas Waitathu @peopledailyKE

National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depots in Kericho County have been operating without maize for about three weeks, People Daily can report.

Residents in the area now rely on flour processed from area posho mills, Unga that is expensive compared to the government subsidised flour.

The owners of the posho mills are selling a 2kg of unpacked maize flour at Sh160 which is still beyond the reach of majority of Kenyans due to depressed purchasing power. Local farmers equally are said to have some stocks of maize from the last season, quantities they are relying to process flour in the local posho mills.

Peter Kimetto, a businessman in Kericho town confirmed that he is buying maize from farmers in Londiani area which is 70 kilometres away. After processing the maize he sells the unpacked flour at Sh160 for 2kgs.

Small-scale millers equally have been operating without enough maize for the last one week contributing to the acute shortage of flour in the county and its environs. In most stores of the board in the county we visited did not have maize with traders and millers complaining that the shortage have created bad blood between them and customers.

Managers at Rift Mills, one of the main millers in Kericho town, said they have not had maize supply from NCPB depot for the last one week.

They complained that they have been idle for the last one week and they are forced to turn away their customers until they receive enough supplies from the Government.

According to director, Harrison Njenga, the government needs to increase maize to all the board depots to enable millers access it quickly and process flour for the customers.

“We are calling on the government to move with speed and ensure availability of enough maize stocks in all the depots in the county,” he added. Njenga said all the County NCPB depots in Kedowa, Londiani, Kipkelion, Kericho town and Fort-Ternan have been in operation but with no stocks.

He, however, expressed optimism that he will get additional maize supply to resume milling this week. Millers and traders are accusing the port of Mombasa of delaying offloading of imported maize thus contributing to the shortage of the subsidised maize in the country. Offloading of yellow maize has been delayed worsening the situation in the market as the cost of animal feeds continues to rise.

The post Kericho millers groan as NCPB grain silos run dry appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.

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