STATEMENT ON FOOD SECURITY BY PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA AT HARAMBEE HOUSE, NAIROBI ON TUESDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER, 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges to agricultural-based livelihoods and food security in Kenya. We are glad to note that various mitigation measures that were undertaken by all relevant stakeholders and therefore availability, access and affordability was attained. To further improve on this situation and after consulting with relevant stakeholders including Governors in our maize growing region
I direct as follows:
1. To ensure that our farmers are able to dry and sell their maize with minimal post-harvest losses, I do direct that maize drying charges at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) be reviewed downward by 50%, from the current Ksh 40/- per unit to Ksh. 20/ per unit.
2. The National Government will also 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 groups of farmers/cooperatives at the 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 farmers’ income.
3. Our National Cereals and Produce Board has stores across the country that are currently not in use. I therefore direct that NCPB avail these stores to our farmers and farmer groups and traders for storage at an affordable cost. NCPB will therefore be required to review the current storage charges from the current Ksh. 10/- per bag per month to Ksh. 3/- per bag per month.
4. I also direct that the recommended minimum maize selling price by the farmer to be Ksh. 2, 500/- per 90kg bag and require that the Ministry enforces these prices.
5. The above interventions will therefore mean that the Country will have sufficient maize and therefore there will be no maize imports from outside COMESA/EAC region. The millers are therefore directed to ensure that they prioritize mapping and mopping up of all the maize that is available locally.
6. I also direct that the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries Cooperatives to engage with input suppliers to ensure that all inputs are available across the country at affordable prices within one (1) month from this date, before the next planting season.
7. I also note that there are outstanding payments due to the maize farmers and I therefore direct that payments to genuine farmers and traders who supplied maize to NCPB to be concluded by the end of this week, Friday, 2nd October 2020
8. I also direct that wheat millers buy all the locally available wheat stocks before importing additional stock from outside the country. And I further direct that the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and cooperatives ensures that all this is a conditional precedent before allowing importation.
9. I would also like to say that we had a very productive meeting the Governors of Kilifi and Tana River where we discussed the issue of Galana-Kulalu farm and its future. And we have agreed to work on a program that will involve how, first and foremost, this farm can be subdivided so that the local communities are able to benefit and start participating in our food security situation in the country. And also how our herders can access for their livestock, and also how to commercialize the remaining part of the farm also to enhance food security across the country.