Cereal Growers Association (CGA) was founded in 1996 by large scale wheat farmers. Initially called Wheat Growers Association (WGA), it brought farmers together to create a voice for negotiating with Government and millers concerning the marketing of wheat. During that time the wheat industry had just been liberalized and the farmers were permitted to market their produce direct to the millers rather than through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), which was the Government agent. This changed the playing field and it became apparent that the wheat farmers needed a body to represent them. At that time the duty on imported wheat was 50% and the world wheat price was $150 a ton. It was imperative that the duty be kept as high, to save the farmers from being swamped by cheap overseas imports. The duty was reduced to 10% when the International wheat price increased to over $300 per ton in 2010. To date CGA continues to push among others a revision of import duty to reflect the changing market dynamics, more equal access to the Government subsidy programme (for instance in the case of fertilizer), greater investment in agricultural research for farmers to benefit better varieties among other superior farming technologies.
The WGA was successful in negotiating on behalf of the farmers to keep the price of wheat favourable because Government was always sympathetic to the farmers and for some years the WGA managed to keep the Duty on imported wheat. In 2002 the WGA changed its direction and took on board other cereal farmers in particular the maize farmers. The Association changed its name to Cereal Growers Association (CGA). It was felt by the Board that as the Maize Industry was so much bigger than the Wheat industry it would be advantageous to bring on board the many small scale maize farmers who would help the organization to gain clout with Government when negotiating marketing policy.
CGA has had great success with dealing with Government on agricultural Policy and with interacting with the CMA who are essential to the welfare of the Industry as they are the main outlet for the farmers produce.
In 2002 the Board set up a secretariat to manage the affairs of the Association. The Board approached the National Cereal and Produce Board (NCPB) and asked to employ David Nyameino as the Chief Executive Officer to run CGA. Mr. Nyameino had been employed by NCPB for many years and was at that time running the Research and Projects Department. The Board also asked Major Koitaba, the CEO of NCPB, if CGA could rent an office next to their weighbridge at the main Nairobi Silos. The NCPB was very generous and not only agreed to let David go to run the CGA but also charged a very nominal rent for the office space. After a year CGA had grown out of the premise and moved to the Duplex Apartments on Upper Hill Road, off Uhuru Highway. Here we stayed for 8 years with David Nyameino at the helm and had many successes from raising money from Donors who could see the work that CGA was achieving. Like so many other organizations finance was always a challenge. We could not to raise much money from the small scale maize farmer’s membership and relied on the large scale wheat farmers to keep the organization running. Mr Nyameino spent much of his time trying to tap funds from all organizations that were interested in Kenya cereal agriculture. The first big grant we received was from USAID through ACDI-VOCA for the Kenya Maize Development Program (KMDP). This helped CGA run the office and employ several field officers on motorbikes to reach the farmers in the field. Since this program was successful and run well, CGA was contracted to run several others. Today there are four different programs running at once and more than 25 Field officers dealing with farmer issues on a daily basis. David Nyameino left the CGA in 2012 and was succeeded by Anthony Kioko, an agronomist by training with over 20 years working in the agriculture field , who had been his deputy for many years. Mr Kioko is very familiar with the Kenya Farming world and has expanded the CGA in many new directions, all of which will benefit the farming community over the coming years.
The latest CGA development is the Cereal Growers SACCO Society Ltd . The launching of the SACCO was a response to the plight of farmers over the years in accessing finance to run their farming businesses. Cereal Growers SACCO seeks to promote a savings and investment culture among the farmers while providing affordable and viable agricultural credit. The SACCO also seeks to facilitate opportunities for joint output marketing as well as joint input procurement.
CGA hosts every year at least six Field days in different Counties which have helped finance the Association for the past 15 years. These Field Days continue to be a major success with support from a wide range of partners. I would encourage you to keep track of the Calendar of events every year so as not to miss in these amazing opportunities to learn new ideas/ technologies to improve your farming business.
Cereal Growers Association (CGA) was incorporated in 1996 as a national member-based farmer’s organization to bring together small and large scale commercial farmers to address industry challenges in Kenya. It has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. CGA works with industry stakeholders such as agricultural input suppliers, financial institutions, insurance companies, output buyers, development partners and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) among others, to provide services to its members.
Over the years, CGA leading mandate has been the mobilization of farmers both small and large scale to provide a forum for collective action for both enhanced operational efficiency and advocacy while promoting linkage to input and produce markets and other business development services (BDS).
CGA is run by a team of professionals led by a Chief Executive Officer who is appointed by a Board of Trustees. A team of experienced field staff run the field operations. Currently, CGA has staff of 37 and serves about 300,000 households. These are found in all the main cereal growing regions of Kenya including Nakuru, Narok, Trans Mara, Bomet, the greater Kisii, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Lugari, Migori, Machakos, Kitui and the area around Mount Kenya region (Timau and Laikipia).
In addition to full members who are farmers, CGA also has Associate Members who are mostly private sector companies and suppliers of inputs and services to the cereal farmers.
CGA focuses on how to enhance the productivity of its members. The organization has a keen sense of what technologies farmers are looking for and the considerations they make when making commercial choices related to new technology. This places the organization in a unique position as a bridge between suppliers and users of agricultural technology in Kenya.
CGA is also a founder member of the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) and the Seed Trade Association of Kenya (STAK) as well as the Kenya National Farmers Federation (KENAFF). ”