NCPB opens stores for drying maize
National Cereals and Produce Board has opened its stores countrywide for farmers to dry and store maize at a fee.
Farmers will pay Sh70 per 90 kilogramme bag for maize that has a moisture content of below 18 per cent, officials say.
NCPB received 100 driers last week to facilitate the drying of maize across the country. Managing Director, Joseph Kimote, said in a statement sent to newsrooms that maize can only be accepted if it has a dampness content of between 13.5 per cent and 18 per cent.
This comes even as the Agriculture Ministry insisted that the government will not increase the price of maize per bag from the Sh4,000 announced a month ago.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi insisted that the set price is based on arithmetic recognising the cost of production. The cereals board acknowledged heavy rains being experienced in the country may prevent the grains from meeting the 13.5 per cent moisture content requirement. “And thus, the quality parameter of below 18 per cent is ideal for storage within a conventional store,” said Kimote.
Besides the moisture content, Kimote added that other critical parameters are aflatoxin levels, rotten grain and foreign matter percentages which must be met before any grain intake. All the mentioned parameters must conform to the quality specification for Grade 11.