Millions of bags of maize stored in government NCPB silos are set to be destroyed after they were discovered to be contaminated with aflatoxin.
This was revealed by Agriculture CS Peter Munya on Monday when he appeared before the Senate committee on Agriculture.
This comes even as the government plans to import four million bags of maize from neighboring countries to ease the looming shortage expected before the next harvest.
CS Munya shocked the committee when he said that all the maize stored in NCPB silos are not safe for human and animal consumption as they have been contaminated with aflatoxin.
“As it stands, we don’t have any stocks left in our silos. The maize we had has been contaminated with aflatoxin. They are not fit for human and animal consumption. We are in discussion with cement manufacturers who want to use it for fuel,” Munya said.
Munya however did not disclose the number of bags of contaminated maize which are now set to be destroyed in what is likely to fuel speculations as to whether some businessman are behind the scheme to defraud farmers so as to import maize.
Just last week, the National Response Committee on Covid 19 ordered the Agriculture ministry to destroy the millions of bags that cost the taxpayers billions of shillings.
In February, the Kenya Bureau of Standards named several miller brands that they said had been contaminated with aflatoxin but despite ordering that the brands be removed from supermarket shelves, the maize brands are still being sold unabated.
The contamination of maize with aflatoxin has become a perennial problem with questions being raised about the nature of storage conditions at the NCPBs.
NCPB and the Strategic Grain Reserve has also be on the spot for failing to buy maize held by farmers and instead opting to import.
Already four million bags have been gazetted for importation — two million bags of white maize and another two million bags of yellow maize for human and animal consumption respectively.
The maize will be imported at Ksh 3,000 per bag.
The planned importation has elicited uproar from North Rift farmers keen to know why the government was hell bent on importing maize while their granaries are full.