The Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya recently allowed processors to import four million bags of maize to beat a looming deficit.
He further stated that the government does not intend to buy maize from local farmers citing corruption as one of the reasons.
In regards to these developments, Claire Nasike, Greenpeace Africa’s Food Campaigner has said has lashed out at the move and instead called out on the CS to curb corruption in the ministry.
“It is very surprising for the CS to say that the government will not buy maize from Kenyan farmers. While we commend the government’s efforts in dealing with the global pandemic, we urge the Ministry of Agriculture to support smallholder farmers to achieve food security during this crisis. Food security is at the top of the President’s big four agenda; the CS should ensure that smallholder farmers who produce 80 percent of the food consumed in Kenya are prioritised.
Nasike asked CS Munya to find a way to curb corruption within the agencies such as the Ministry of Agriculture and National Cereals and Produce Board and move with speed to purchase maize from farmers.
“Local farmers are at the forefront of cushioning Kenyans against hunger in the wake of COVID-19. Buying grains from them will enable them to produce more food that is required at this time. Smallholder farmers continue to be the most underserved in Kenya. With proper investments and planning, Kenya’s agricultural sector has the potential to be self-sustainable”
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