The Cabinet on Thursday approved the purchase of maize for Sh2,300 per 90kg bag.
This followed a meeting at State House chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta and attended by DP William Ruto.
“The Cabinet today approved the purchase of 2 million bags of maize from farmers at the price of Sh2,300 per 90 kg bag. The maize will be purchased through the National Cereals and Produce Board,” State House said in a tweet.
This means the government will spend Sh4.6 billion in buying maize from farmers this harvest season.
The decision now affirms the price as had been set by the Strategic Grain Reserves Board two weeks ago.
This will, however, likely attract the ire of farmers and leaders from North Rift who wanted the price set at Sh2,600.
On November 5, Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago and his Trans Nzoia counterpart Patrick Khaemba said they would not accept the Sh2,300.
They said the Strategic Grain Reserve Board settled on the price without consulting the task force appointed by the President on the maize crisis.
“Farmers are producing maize at an average cost of Sh1,800 per bag and if one considers the costs of transport and other issues then they cannot make profit at Sh2,300 per bag,” Mandago said.
Speaking in Eldoret, the two leaders said there was no need for them to sit on the task force if decisions are made without consultations.
On Saturday, MPs Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), Sila Tiren of Moiben and Joshua Kutuny of Cherangany led farmers in giving the government a two-week ultimatum to declare Sh3,600 as the new maize price.
“We want to stand and be counted with farmers. It has been easy for the government to pay importers better prices, but when it comes to farmers, we have to fight endlessly,” Tiren said.
The approved price is the same at which the government recently paid farmers for last season’s deliveries after prolonged wait that was marred with claims of fraudulent payments to traders.