Importation of maize will start from February 2023

government plans to import 10 million bags of maize from between February and April 2023 in a bid to address the country’s worsening food crisis.

This is according to Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi who underscored that Kenya will not import the said cereals this year while adding that the state will be in a precarious position in terms of food security without the additional supply of the produce.

The importation of maize, according to the CS, won’t start until a review finds there are deficits.
Linturi made the announcement in response to MP David Pkosing who questioned why the state wants to import maize when local farmers are yet to exhaust their maize supplies.

“The government plans to allow maize importation from the region and facilitate further inflows from outside the EAC and COMESA regions. Another Cabinet Memo has been prepared to seek approval to import maize duty free to improve availability and accessibility in good time to evade a hunger crisis in mid 2023,” Linturi told Parliament in a statement read by Majority leader Kimani Ichungwa.

“The Ministry has recommended to the Cabinet to approve for three months’ period duty fee importation of 900,000 MT (10 million times 90 kg bags) of white maize by registered millers starting from February 1- April 30, 2023 to fill the national deficit and avert an impending crisis from April 2023.”

He also revealed that the Ministry will commit more resources towards intensifying the production of local staple foods to reduce the food deficit gap and facilitate food diversification

Members of parliament from maize growing areas had last week called for the immediate cessation of planned importation of duty-free maize into the country.

The MPs from the North Rift region, led by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei want the importation halted to allow maize being harvested by farmers to be mopped up by the government.

The more than 20 legislators claim importation will significantly lower the prices of maize in the country, dealing a huge blow to farmers who laboured in their farms despite the high cost of production

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