KENYA – The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has invited wheat farmers in Narok County to use its facilities across the country to cut post-harvest losses during this harvesting season.
Narok happens to be one of the biggest wheat producers in the country and produces up to 50 percent of the wheat consumed in the country. Currently, farmers in the area are harvesting their crops.
According to the board, Wheat farmers can now access affordable and professional services in NCPB silos, a move expected to help cut post-harvest losses, maintain good wheat quality standards, and enhance food safety.
“All the services are affordable and are aimed at supporting farmers to alleviate post-harvest challenges like wet grains, lack of storage, use of unsafe drying methods, poor-quality grains that lead to poor market prices, and use of unstandardized weighbridges which do not reflect accurate weights of wheat and defraud farmers of the true value of their grain,” said NCBP in a statement.
According to Agriculture Food Authority, the country consumes about 2.4 million bags but with only 100,000 metric tonnes produced, the country has to import close to 2 million metric tonnes annually from Russia and Ukraine.
However, Cereal Growers Association CEO, Antony Kioko said that production of wheat this year is projected at between 600,000-700,000 bags in Narok County.
As a result, KBC News reports that the board has committed, predominantly to wheat farmers in Narok County and its environs to offer them conditions to dry their produce noting that the agency will be opening up the warehouses at affordable rates to help farmers address such challenges.
According to NCPB managing director Joseph Kimote, the board has both mobile and fixed driers services which are currently available in Narok, Nakuru, and Nairobi silos.
The board has, therefore, called on farmers in the county to utilize its facilities to access affordable and professional services in wheat drying, cleaning, grading, silos storage, and weighing.
“Whereas farmers require to visit the silo to utilize fixed driers, those who wish to have their wheat dried where it is convenient for them can contact the silo manager Narok so that the mobile drier can be taken to them,” added the board.
NCPB has assured the farmers that those using NCPB storage facilities will benefit from safe storage as well as have the wheat marketed on their behalf. The Board has both conventional stores and Warehouse Receipt System (WRS) intake facilities.