May 18, 2022

It is a big shame to import maize-Raila

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Former opposition leader Raila Odinga has said it is a big shame for government to import maize.

Raila said farmers have invested much in planting the maize, and it was unfair for the National Cereal Produce board to turn them away when they want to sell to it.

“When the product is taken to NCPB, they are informed that the board cannot purchase it because its stores are full of “imported” maize,” Raila said on Friday morning.
“A total shame.”

Raila statement comes after cereal producers raised alarm over Tanzanian exports to Kenya.

They said that the exports, which include maize, have exceeded imports for the first time in decades, and now cereal producers in Kenya are worried that these imports could spell doom for food production in the long run.

“This country should not import what it can produce locally. Because we must not forget that for every metric tonne of grain or some other produce we import, we have in essence exported a few jobs,” Anthony Kioko, the chief executive of the Cereals Growers Association (CGA) told a local media house.

Raila said that it was unfair fr farmers to till, plant, weed and harvest only to lack the market for selling their produce.

“Farmers toil to till the land, plant, weed, and harvest: coupled with prayer for the rains to start and stop at the right time,” Raila said.

Kenya imported maize valued at Ksh4.2 billion from Tanzania in 2019, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. In 2020, it imported about 277,350 tonnes of maize with about 95 per cent of this coming from Uganda and Tanzania. In January, Kenya imported over 450,000 bags of maize from both Tanzania and Uganda and another 300,000 bags in February.


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