Uasin Gishu County Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno has advised farmers to abandon maize farming and venture into more profitable ventures like horticulture.
Addressing the press in his office, Chemno said it was time farmers stopped relying on maize production and diversity.
“Maize production is now facing many challenges from diseases to unstable markets and prices. We are now asking our farmers to move into other sectors like horticulture,” said Chemno.
Reacting to a directive issued last month by Agriculture CS Felix Koskei, that counties should buy maize from farmers, Chemno criticized the directive saying the devolved units have no capacity to buy the crop.
“When Koskei says county governments should buy maize from farmers, when all along they have depended on the cereals board, it is the farmers who will suffer as counties don’t have the capacity to take up the role ,”said Chemno.
Farmers whose have not sold their maize are unsure of what becomes of their cereals after reports emerged that the board does not have the capacity to buy the surplus yields.
Koskei had insisted that county governments should buy and market maize on behalf of farmers. He said the National Cereals and Produce Board can only buy maize equivalent to the money provided.
He also asked counties to invest in the marketing of the crops produced by locals.
“There should be no excuse that farmers are not finding a market when this is a function of the counties,” added Koskei.