Netherlands to support warehouse system in North Rift
The Netherlands will support the implementation of the Warehouse Receipt System to reduce post-harvest losses and enhance production in North Rift. Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Netherlands Joris Bommel said the system would be a solution to the long-standing storage challenges faced by farmers and aggregators of farm produce across the country. He led delegations on a visit to Uasin Gishu county to discuss with stakeholders the challenges in the agricultural sector, with WRS as one of the solutions. “WRS benefits farmers by reducing post-harvest losses, improving market linkages and increasing access to credit,” the envoy said. Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii, who hosted the team, said WRS would create an enabling environment for producers and traders to make and execute commercial decisions. “WRS provides access to highly efficient and modern storage systems which minimize post-harvest losses and with minimum investment in storage and logistics,” Bii said. Under the WRS, farmers can store a wide variety of agricultural produce including grains. The commodities are kept in county licensed warehouses which are regulated by the WRS Council. The depositors then obtain a Warehouse Receipt which can be traded, sold, exchanged or used as collateral to obtain bank loans. WRS was operationalized with technical support from the International Finance Corporation and is financially supported by the Netherlands.
Governor Bii said Uasin Gishu in collaboration with the Netherlands and the WRS Council, will explore ways to enhance productivity through the use of modern technology and innovative solutions. Officials from the WRS Council who were present said they would also work with farmers organizations in the county to prevent post-harvest losses and enhance credit and other support systems for the producers. Governor Bii and the envoy toured NCPB stores, farmers’ cooperative societies and other licensed stores to assess preparedness by the producers and relevant institutions on WRS. Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia are high producing regions, especially for cereals and contribute to the country’s food security. Farmers in the region have been complaining of lack of good storage facilities, low credit support, lack of markets for their produce with highly fluctuating prices among other challenges. Bii said they were happy with the government’s support to farmers through the supply of the subsidized fertilizer which helped reduce the cost of production. He said it was through such initiatives that the cost of food would be reduced in the country. https://www.the-star.co.ke/counties/nairobi/2023-05-16-netherlands-to-support-warehouse-system-to-cut-post-harvest-losses-in-north-rift/