“Give us this day our daily bread”
As you walk through town, you will either see trucks heading to the National Cereal Produce Board (NCPB), or lined up on both sides of the road. This is one of those ‘truck’ jam that is welcomed with smiles.
Samuel Kimutai, a farmer in Moiben, Uasin Gishu never thought that he would buy his dream tractor and plantar. Kimutai, has always planted wheat but after the unfavourable weather in most parts of the country for the last seasons not forgetting the ridiculously low produce prices, he swore he would abandon wheat farming.
Now he smiles as he sits next to his new tractor that he managed to purchase after selling his wheat at kshs. 3150 a bag to Unga Ltd.
“ I cannot emphasize how happy I am that finally after years of selling wheat below Kshs.2500, I can now laugh all the way to the bank. He added that, ‘I speak for most farmers in Uasin Gishu that for the first time in a long time wheat farmers have been taken care of.”
After months of lobbying for farmers to get a good market price for their wheat, earlier this year, CGA gave its members and other wheat farmers a reason to smile. CGA together with the Cereal Millers Association and with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries came into an agreement that millers would buy all the locally produced wheat at a minimum price of Kshs. 3000. The plan was set into motion on 25th July 2016 when the PS, Richard Lesiyampe launched the 2016/2017 Wheat purchase plan in Narok County NCPB
How did we get here?
Within the East Africa Community (EAC) members, it is only Kenya that produces significant volumes of wheat to meet at least 35% of its national demand. Local farmers have to compete against imported grain produced mostly in the Europe and South America by farmers who often enjoy huge subsidies from their governments as well as superior infrastructural support. In spite of the local production constraints, local farmers continue to produce wheat that is superior in quality to most of what millers import into the country.Kenya has over the last 10 years, reduced the import duty on wheat grain from 35% to 25% and finally the current 10%. In reaction to the food price spikes of 2008-2009, in August 2010, CGA agreed to a temporary waiver of import duty on wheat during a meeting between CGA and the CMA chaired by the then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta. One of the provisions of the agreement that was local millers would only be allowed to import wheat after purchasing the local crop entirely, at a guaranteed price. At that time the price of wheat was just over US$ 400 per MT (CIF, Mombasa). Today it is about US$ 200, a drop of more than 50%.
In 2016, a meeting chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, CMA and other relevant government ministries, it was again agreed that millers would be allowed to import wheat after purchasing all the local wheat. It was also agreed that the minimum price would be Kes.3000 so long as you met the minimum requirements;
The minimum requirements agreed was as follows;
- Grade “A” at KES 3,000 (for bushel weight of 76 and above; Moisture content of ≤14% and foreign matter of 2.0%).
- Grade “B” at KES 2940( for bushel weight of 75 ; Moisture content of ≤14% and foreign matter of 2.0%).
- Grade “C” at KES 2910 For bushel weight of 74;
- below bushell weight 74, willng buyer, willing seller
- handling charges- 70 cents per kg to be shared equally between the farmer and Miller
- Farmers will be required to pay cess to the respective County Government.
The plan applies for the entire wheat cropping calendar (or 12 months effective from the official launch on 25th July 2016).
To benefit from the plan, it was agreed that CGA would register all wheat farmers and provide them with a registration number which they would then present at the collection centres/aggregator in the counties agreed upon by the Ministry. The registration process is as follows;
- Print and fill the the registration form or call our field officers in Narok/ Nakuru /Eldoret/Meru who will provide you with the form
- Once filled, take the form to your Ward agricultural Officer (except Narok where farmers are verified by the farmer leaders) who will verify that the said person is a farmer by appending their signature and stamp.
- Once verified the form gets back to the field officers from the respective counties and the farmer will be allocated a membership number which they will use to sell their wheat.
- To download the form, kindly visit CGA website on http://www.cga.co.ke/wheat-purchase-20162017-plan/
This year, a total of 4.6Million bags is expected to be harvested.