After years of exploitation and corruption in the maize sector in Kenya farmers can now let out a sigh of relief with the introduction of the Ware house receipt system that seeks to bring a sense of sanity, peace and order to a rather chaotic sector.
The Ware house receipt system (WSR) is a platform that enables farmers to deposit storable goods in certified ware houses (grains and coffee) in exchange for a Ware house receipt. The Ware house receipt issued serves as proof of ownership of the produce and once issued with this document a farmer can be able to use it as collateral allowing them to access bank loans to facilitate their farm activities.
The Kenyan Parliament passed the Ware house receipt system Act in July 2019 an action that led to providing a legal framework for its development and governance.
For farmers this comes as a boost because ideally the ware house storage facilities allows the farmers to store their produce for a later time that allows them to sell their grains at the right price and not a throw away price as before hence improving their financial wellbeing leading o them leading a better life.
Apart from improving their financial well-being farmers will now be able to cut on post-harvest losses ,as a country our farmers lose 20-30% of their produce during post-harvest and with introduction of the ware house receipt system the farmers will now be able to cut the loses.
The Ware house receipt system will also allow farmers’ better storage as for every produce brought into this certified warehouses will be cleaned and fumigated to remove impurities and pests and later the clean produce graded.
The Ware house receipt system will also be beneficial as it will be able to curb value chain inefficiencies such as middle men who have been terrorizing farmers for decades, with this new system the farmer sells the produce themselves and they gain al the profits with no interfering middlemen.
The Ware house receipt system is also beneficial to the farmers as they are assured of markets. With the introduction of the Ware house receipt system the Ministry of Agriculture has put place a ware house receipt system council which has been mandated with different tasks that shall enable smooth operations off the program.
These tasks include; • Offer civic education to the farmers and raise awareness of the WRS its benefits and what the farmer stands to gain. • The council is also tasked with the licensing, registration and inspection of the warehouses and ware house operators. In conclusion the Ware house receipt system was set in place to elevate the livelihoods of farmers especially financially.
In Kenya majority of the farmers hail from rural areas with limited resources and with enrolment to the Warehouse receipt system the farmers will have a boost financially because now they shall have access to direct market and ability to sell produce at their price hence elevating their livelihoods.
As KAAA we play a role in raising awareness to our members on these facilities as one of our mandates is to introduce and educate farmers on good agricultural practices.