How Maize Was Smuggled Into Kenya at Night

It has emerged that maize from neighbouring countries was smuggled and delivered to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) stores at night to avoid suspicion from local farmers.

Sources indicate that there were two different queues at the Eldoret depot; one for local farmers and the other for unknown individuals.

The latter was attended to quickly as local farmers waited for weeks.

According to the Nation, most major suppliers smuggled the maize from neighbouring countries through porous border points like Suam in Trans Nzoia and delivered it in large quantities to depots like Moi’s Bridge, Bungoma and Kisumu.

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The farmers also revealed that the maize from Uganda was unrecognisable unlike in the past years when one could easily tell it apart from the Kenyan maize.

This comes just a few days after Agriculture and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri said that the ministry would take an inventory in 21 days to determine whether the six million bags of maize claimed to have been delivered by traders to NCPB are actually in the stores.

The inventory will involve a physical count of all the bags held in various NCPB depots across the country.

Mr Kiunjuri, who appeared before the Agriculture committee of the National Assembly, divulged that some powerful individuals were behind the traders who made huge deliveries to NCPB, the custodian of the country’s strategic grain reserve, at the expense of farmers.

“Somebody powerful was behind these unscrupulous traders and the truth will come out once the audit is done,” he remarked.

The CS, however, ruled out the possibility of government buying more maize from farmers who still have the produce.

[caption caption="Mwangi Kiunjuri"][/caption]