Farmers will be paid a minimum of Sh4,000 for a 90-kilogramme bag of maize that they will deliver at the National Cereals and Produce (NCPB) in line with the government directive, setting stage for competition with millers.

The Kenyan government has reached an agreement with stakeholders to establish a minimum buying price for maize, ensuring that farmers receive fair compensation for their produce.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi said millers will also be expected to pay the same to farmers as part of this agreement.

Millers normally use the price set by the government as a benchmark and they would always offer higher than that in order to attract stocks from farmers.

The announcement came during a session with the Senate’s Committee on Agriculture, where Mr Linturi emphasised that this price was deemed sufficient to enable maize farmers to not only break-even but also earn a reasonable margin on their harvests.

One of the key implications of this pricing agreement is the temporary halt on maize imports into the country until local stocks are adequately depleted.

This move is intended to support and prioritize local farmers while ensuring the strategic food reserve is well-stocked with a million bags of 90kg bags, a decision approved by the Cabinet.

Mr Linturi further said NCPB has initiated preparations to start receiving maize from local farmers in the wake of harvesting season in the North Rift.

In his response to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Mr Linturi reiterated the significance of this pricing agreement.

This price will provide farmers with the much-needed assurance of covering their production costs and securing reasonable profits from their maize harvests,” said Mr Linturi.

Furthermore, he emphasised that the restriction on maize imports would remain in effect until the local maize stocks are adequately utilised by millers, thereby ensuring that local farmers’ interests are safeguarded and the strategic food reserve is effectively replenished.

This comes just a fortnight after the government announced that it had banned maize and wheat imports to the country.