Kenya banks on commodity exchange to aid farmers, boost food security

Stock SectorJune 13, 20182min7

Workers pick tea leaves at a plantation in Nandi Hills, in Kenya’s highlands region west of capital Nairobi, November 5, 2014. REUTERS/Noor Khamis/File Photo

Kenya is working on a number of legislations as it seeks to establish a commodity exchange, where farmers would sell their produce, a government official said on Wednesday.

Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, said that the commodity exchange is the way to go for Kenya if farmers are to reap from their produce.

“The commodity exchange will root out brokers from the system who exploit farmers. It will also remove the government from market where it is forced to purchase for instance maize from farmers,” said Kiptoo.

“We are working with various government agencies and ministries. We are keen to implement this though it will take sometime because it is something new. It will happen,” Kiptoo said.

He said the government will also carry out massive campaign to educate farmers on the new system.

“We are convinced that commodities exchange will help boost our food security because farmers would keep their produce in cold chain stores and get good profits encouraging them to farm,” Kiptoo said.

According to him, the exchange will be private-sector driven. “Government will only come in to provide operational framework but the exchange will run the way the securities market is working now,” he said.

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