The COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges to agricultural-based livelihoods and food security in the Kenya.
According to President Uhuru Kenyatta, various mitigation measures were undertaken by all relevant stakeholders and therefore availability, access and affordability were attained.
To further improve on the situation, President Kenyatta on Monday issued a number of directives
To ensure that our farmers are able to dry and sell their maize with minimal post-harvest losses, the president directed that the maize drying charges at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) be reviewed downward by 50%, from the current Ksh 40/- per unit drop to Ksh. 20/.
He called on The National Government to make sure that maize driers are made available to all maize growing areas by the coming season.
‘‘These driers will be community based and therefore will be managed by a group of farmers/cooperatives at community level. This will ensure that farmers are able to store or sell their maize at the appropriate moisture content and thus contribute to enhance farmer incomes.’’
Regarding the National Cereals and Produce Board stores across the Country that are currently not in use, the head of state directed that NCPB avail these stores to farmers’ and farmer groups and traders for storage at an affordable cost.
The NCPB will be required to review their current storage charges from Ksh. 10/- per bag per month to Ksh. 3/- per bag per month- Mr. Kenyatta said.
It is also good news for maize farmers who have been suffering with low prices
‘ ‘I direct that the recommended minimum maize selling price by the farmers to be Ksh. 2,500/- per 90kg bag and require that Ministry enforces these prices.’’ He said
The president says the interventions will therefore mean that the Country will have sufficient maize and therefore there will be no maize imports from outside COMESA/EAC.
‘‘The millers are therefore directed to ensure that they prioritize mopping up all the maize all maize available locally.’’
To further boost, production, the head of state directed that the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries Cooperative to engage with input suppliers to ensure that all inputs are available across the Country at affordable prices within one month from this date, before the next planting season.
All outstanding payments due to the maize farmers, the president said NCPB must ensure that all arears are cleared within two weeks and not later than 20th October 2020
The president also directed that wheat millers must buy all the locally available wheat stocks before importing additional stock from outside the country. ‘‘the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, fisheries and cooperatives should ensure that this is a conditional precedent to allowing importation’’