Maize is one of the significant economic activities in Kenya, especially when it comes to people from Uasin Gishu County. At the moment, Farmers from the region claim that the Kenyan government should avoid importing maize when local farmers have not exhausted their stock. Thomas Kiptum Gorgoren, one of the well known farmers in Uasin Gishu, raised the case on 11th March 30, 2020. Currently, a row has come out following the two million bags importation of emergency stock since millers are running out of supply.
The Strategic Food Reserve in charge of urgent situation food stock is anticipating on importing the grain as they exhausted its supply worth four million. According to the reporters, National Treasury has been given the role to import maize from Mexico. The change is to ensure the maize turns up within the shortest time possible. The president has ordered SFR to ship two million bags but canceled the deal and gave it to Treasury.
According to the latest news, the local farmers in Uasin Gishu County plan to file a lawsuit to safeguard their market threatened by the importation of maize. The farmers suggest that the government should exhaust available stoke before thinking of imports. Mr. David Too, one of the farmers in the county, says it is not fair to them as the imported maize is considerably cheap, and it results in substantial losses.
As per reports, farmers in Uasin Gishu held a meeting in Eldoret town. Since the farmers have massive stock from last season harvest. They say the government should buy it to raise capital for the coming season. Furthermore, Mr. Samuel Kosgei, a farmer in Trans Nzoia County, says the government should protect them from unfair competition.
Authorization of the mop-up deal
The North Rift governor in charge of the economic block says the Corona virus pandemic spread, which might push many to hunger. The government should start buying the maize from the farmers to help the vulnerable groups. Besides, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago urges the government to begin directing foodstuffs into arid as well as semi-arid areas as they might be affected the most.
On the other hand, the Strategic Food Reserve appeals for the importation of the four million bags of maize, saying it will help to curb the shortfall in the market and rising flour costs. The agency is pushing for approval to import at least two million bags of maize before May. As a result, Dr. Wakesa says that at the moment, they have no reserves, and it would be wise for the government to speed up the imports to curb the possible crisis.
With the Corona virus outbreak, it is hard to tell the future. Remember, maize is a commodity that can be preserved; I think it is wise for the government to exhaust the current stoke by mobilizing it into arid and semi-arid areas. Besides, it should also add bulk to the stores even if it means they purchase a certain percentage from the farmers while importing.
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