NCPB Turnaround Gathers Momentum
The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) plans to replace its aged infrastructure at an estimated cost of Ksh1.8 billion. NCPB chairman Mutea Iringo said that the move is aimed at increasing volumes for commercial trading.
Speaking on Thursday during a press briefing at the NCPB headquarters in Nairobi, Iringo said NCPB has been buying maize for the commercial wing of at Ksh2,700 per 90kg bag and paying within two days which has stabilized market prices for the farmers.
“We have increased the number of Aflatoxin Testing Labs to seven to ensure food safety; we have also bought modern dryers to assist farmers in drying when they harvest in wet seasons,” said the chairman.
Iringo said that NCPB has been able to complete payment of all pending bills to farmers, transporters and millers as well as forging strong business partnerships with new products offering like Aflasafe.
“We also recruited a new Managing Director Mr. Joseph Kimote together with four other senior managers through a competitive process. The recruitment brought the right skills required for the transformation of the organization and proper leadership talent. We also confirmed six managers who had acted for over ten years through an internal competitive process,” explained Iringo.
He said that the turnaround was given more impetus by the Cabinet directed reforms on NCPB and the Strategic Food Reserve (SFR) under the auspices of the Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS) 2019-2029 policy.
“The reforms recognize the need to revitalize the commercial trading activities of NCPB as well as handling of the National Food Reserve functions together with supporting the Food Balance Sheet Committee activities,” said Iringo.
He added that they have entrenched the reforms as directed by the Cabinet in NCPB with the creation of the Trading Division and National Food Reserve Division. This has made it possible for the additional mandate of the National Food Reserve to be undertaken by NCPB. However, full operationalization of the divisions is limited by funding challenges.