Paloma Fernandes is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cereal Millers Association for the past twelve years.
The Cereal Millers is an association that represents the large-scale grain milling industry comprising of varied wheat, maize, and other cereals millers in Kenya with a reach over 35 million consumers in Kenya.
Her main area of responsibility is stakeholder engagement with Government bodies and NGO’s for various issues pertaining to food security, food safety, food taxes, tariff barriers within the region, providing recommendations and feedback on bills related to basic food items as well as meeting with relevant ministers in the Government. She is especially involved with aflatoxins, GM technology and fortification in the food industry. She is passionate about food safety and works with the CMA to provide safe and affordable food to the consumers.
As the CEO of the Cereal Millers Association, Paloma was instrumental in coordinating the efforts of all the major millers to work with the Government to ensure the success of the maize subsidy programme in 2017. This involved managing the price subsidies, stocks, allocations to the millers and ensuring adequate deliveries to all parts of the country to ensure that all Kenyans benefitted from the subsidy programme, whereby maize flour was sold at Kshs 90 per 2kg packet. Paloma has worked closely with Government agencies in during the serious droughts experienced in the country in 2007 and 2011.
Through her role at the CMA, Paloma has played a major part in the protection of local wheat farmers through the Wheat Programme started in 2007 in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Treasury to ensure that all local wheat is bought by CMA members. This involves encouraging local wheat farmers to improve their efficiency and quality as well as ensure that there is transparency and proper coordination of activities related to the duty remission scheme for wheat importation
She is a member of the steering committee of the Accelerated Value Crop Development (AVCD), a member of the National Food Safety Coordinating Committee – NFSCC, Member of the Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme – KCEP, a member of the Improved Cassava Stakeholder Committee (ICSC) and a former director of the National Biosafety Authority – NBA.
By profession, she is a qualified Economist, Administrative manager and Systems Analyst with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. She successfully completed the Corporate Governance Course administered by the Centre for Corporate Governance Kenya attaining 1st position out of 68 fellow directors and CEO’s from the region. She is currently seeking to pursue her Master of Arts (MA) in Development Studies dealing with various aspects and challenges of development and public policy.
The 8th AGTS will look to find solutions for the missing pieces of the grain trade puzzle and attempt to come up with an action plan to deliver more and better grain trade on the continent.
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