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Munya: State is not importing maize

Monday June 01 2020
munya

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya (right) and Turkana Agriculture Executive Philip Aemun speak on May 30, 2020 when the CS inspected the locust infestation in the county. Mr Munya said the government has no plans to import maize. PHOTO | SAMMY LUTTA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By SAMMY LUTTA

The national government is not importing maize at the moment, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has assured farmers.

Mr Munya said that there is no cause for alarm over the availability of food in the country.

Speaking to journalists on Saturday in Monti village in the outskirts of Lodwar town when he assessed efforts to control desert locusts in Turkana County, the CS said that despite the food situation in the country, the recent rains boosted crops and pasture regeneration in the worst hit counties.

PRIVATE DEALERS

Mr Munya affirmed that private maize traders are the only ones allowed to import the maize.

"The traders have been restricted to import certain determined quantities needed to fill the gap of what the country needs before the next harvest," Mr Munya said.

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COVID-19

But he said that miller's and producers in the sector should not use the Covid-19 pandemic to exploit consumers.

 "The State has been monitoring prices of all the essentials commodities to make sure that prices don't go beyond what a consumer can afford and also don't go below what producers require for a living," Mr Munya said.

ARTIFICIAL SHORTAGE

He warned counties against creating a food shortage through illegal revenue collection strategies.

He urged the Council of Governors, through Tharaka-Nthi Governor Muthomi Njuki who heads the Agriculture committee, to boost availability of food in the country by eliminating illegal cess fees on farm produce.

He noted that some roadblocks erected in counties are charging cess fees on commodities on transit.

"You charge cess on produce from your county and produce from other counties that are accessing your county. You don't charge cess on commodities or produce that is on transit." He said.

HIGH PRICES

He said that the situation is resulting to high prices and huge losses from delays while produce is on transit.

He assured Turkana, Laikipia, Samburu and Marsabit counties, which are still battling with the locusts’ invasion that National Youth Service officers are being deployed to conduct ground spraying of nymphs before they grow into large swarms and destroy more crops and pasture.

He said the Kenya Red Cross Society is assessing damages caused by the destructive insects across 27 counties.

RESTORE LIVELIHOODS

"When we get the report, the Sh4 billion [from] World Bank will be spent on restoration of livelihoods in the affected areas.

“The funds will also be spent in acquiring more equipment, chemicals and manpower when need arises in counties that are still hit by the locusts," said the Agriculture CS.

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