The County Government of Nakuru has partnered with Warehouse Receipt System Council to commence implementation of the Warehouse Receipt System.
This is in line with the Council’s move to work closely with County Governments, Ministries, State Agencies and private sector institutions to ensure reforms that benefit farmers.
Speaking in Nakuru on Thursday morning during a meeting on implementation of the Warehouse Receipt System, the Council’s Chairperson Ms Jane Ngige stated that the Council will focus on implementing the Warehouse Receipt System for maize, beans, green grams, coffee, wheat and rice.
In addition, the Council will progressively expand to cover other agricultural commodities across the country.
“As a council, we will work closely with respective counties, Ministries and state agencies such as the State Department of Trade, National Cereals and Produce Board, Kenya National Trading Corporation and private sector institutions to ensure reforms gain momentum,” she said.
The Warehouse Receipt System is identified in the Agriculture Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy as a key intervention to improve commodity storage, reduce average post-harvest losses and curb value chain inefficiencies.
The System also increases financial earnings to farmers, traders and service providers in agricultural commodity trade.
Under the System, owners of commodities (producers or dealers) deposit their commodities in certified warehouses and are issued with a document of title called a Warehouse Receipt as a proof of ownership.
The Parliament passed The Warehouse Receipt System Act No.8 of 2019 in June 2019 providing a legal as well as a regulatory framework for development and regulation of a Warehouse Receipt System and establishment of the Council.
Ms Ngige noted that the system once implemented will encourage increased lending to the Agricultural sector by providing alternative commodities and mitigating risk to the Banks within a structured trading system.
She added that, “The system also ensures confidence in the agricultural trading system given the consistency and an assurance to the buyers that the commodity is stored safely and is of known tradable quantity and quality.”
It should be noted that the Warehouse Receipt System operates successfully in countries such as South Africa, Ethiopia and Rwanda with pilot programs in Kenya having been conducted by both public and private sector players in the last 10 years.
Farmers who participated indicated premium benefits realized through the Warehouse Receipt System as it reduced pressure to sell their produce immediately after harvests when prices are too low, rather the system allowed them to access credit as they waited for favourable prices.
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui on his part reiterating the county is ready to partner with stakeholders towards improving farmers’ welfare.
He also called for the need to consider consumers and farmers in all the engagements as everything ends with them.
“We need to look at the whole value chain and ensure we also bring the consumers and farmers on board. The Billionaires in the millers’ industry are the farmers who should be brought on board.”