Members of Parliament from President William Ruto’s Rift Valley region have ganged up against the government’s allowing the importation of duty-free maize.
Led by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, the leaders from maize growing areas said importing the grain at the time farmers were harvesting was ill-timed.
Cherargei, said maize farmers will lack a market for their produce should the government go ahead to import duty-free maize as they will lack the market for their maize.
As such, the leader’s majority of whom are allied to President William Ruto’s UDA will on Tuesday, November 22, hold a crisis meeting to develop a sustainable solution.
“The importation of duty-free maize is not fair to us maize farmers because of its wrong timing,
“In the Rift Valley we are currently harvesting maize now it shall lower prices of maize. We shall tomorrow meet MPs of maize growing areas to develop a sustainable solution on the matter,” Cherargei said.
Earlier on, Investments, Trade, and Industry CS Moses Kuria insisted that the government will not purchase maize from local farmers for any other reason other than strategic preservation.
Kuria said in a series of statements on his social media accused Kenyan farmers of sitting on over 20 million bags of maize, and that they are expected to harvest about 35 million bags in the next two weeks.
“The Government of Kenya will not buy maize directly or indirectly other than for Strategic Reserve. It is further expected that the farmers are about to harvest 35 Million bags in the next 2 weeks. Urgently deliver that to the Millers and so they will not need to import,” Moses Kuria said.