News 353 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Kenya launches new grain storage system

The East African Grain Council has launched the Warehouse Receipt System (WRS) in Kenya that will cut out exploitative middlemen and unlock the commercial potential of farming.

The system allows farmers and traders to deposit maize at a certified warehouse during the months of December to March and obtain a warehouse receipt.

The move means that farmers can now use the receipt to obtain money from Equity Bank while awaiting sale of their stored produce at the most profitable time.

Its proponents forecast that the move will increase maize production, and that of other cereals, by as much as of 300% and comes as Kenya reels from an acute grain shortage accentuated by an undeveloped market and political crisis. The warehouse receipts form the country's first organised commodity market.

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