Monday 22 August 2011
Maize seed farmers in Trans Nzoia County want the Government to increase the prices of the commodity to cushion them from high costs of production.
The farmers petitioned Agriculture Assistant Minister Gideon Ndambuki who had visited the region to push for increment of the maize seeds prices from Sh52 to Sh60 per kilogram.
The growers contracted by Kenya Seed Company (KSC) said the money offered per kg was unfavourable owing to production cost.
The farmers petitioned Agriculture Assistant Minister Gideon Ndambuki who had visited the region to push for increment of the maize seeds prices from Sh52 to Sh60 per kilogram.The growers contracted by Kenya Seed Company (KSC) said the money offered per kg was unfavourable owing to production cost.
"The prices offered to farmers by KSC is below the costs we incur and the Government should reviewing the price," said Latipa Babuh.
Mrs Babuh said poor prices, theft and bad infrastructure are frustrating maize seed growers in the region.
She added that maize seeds shortages experienced every season would persist if the Government does not uplift farmers producing the seeds.
Babuh complained of rampant theft of the crop from their farms and urged the State to deploy security patrols to stop the menace.
Babuh made the petition to Ndambuki who visited her 700 acres farm on seed production at the weekend.
The assistant minister was accompanied by KSC Managing Director Willy Bett and his deputy Alfred Taabu Busolo.
Another farmer Johnston Kituyi cited the bad roads in the area as a major challenge to the farmers.
"The roads are impassable and we find it difficult to deliver our seeds to KSC on time especially during wet seasons and sometimes the crop rot in the farms subjecting us to big losses," said Mr Kituyi.
They also asked the minister to ban roasting of maize in the area to curb theft.
The assistant minister said the ban on exportation of maize seeds would not be lifted until the local demands are tackled.
"There is no seed for export until our farmers are adequately served. We don’t want to see this year’s scenario where farmers missed the seed," he directed.
Bett said they have contracted 150 farmers in the area to grow maize seed to enable the firm produce enough for the country’s requirement.
He said the company has put 143,000 acres of land on maize seed production and assured farmers of enough seed next year.
Source: newsroom - farmingnewsdaily.co.uk
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