Trade CS Moses Kuria has said if farmers do not release hoarded maize, the government will be forced to import.
The minister has given the farmers 72 hours to bring out the maize in their storage failure to which the cabinet may be forced to allow importation of maize.
Speaking during the funeral ceremony of journalist Evelyn Ogutu in Kitale on Saturday, Kuria said the cabinet will meet on Tuesday to decide on the way forward.
He urged farmers in the Rift Valley region to stop hoarding maize.”Mkitoa mahindi mimi najua mambo itakuwa sawa. Tunaelekea mwezi ya tatu na tutaendelea kuomba mvua imyeshe,” he said. This is loosely translated to, “If you stop hoarding maize, I know things will be better. We’re going to March and we will keep praying that the rains come.”
He said the government is working to reduce the price of manure, adding that it will cushion the farmers in the case they have to sell maize at Sh4,000 per bag.”I know there is an underlying issue. Otherwise how do we explain importing maize from Argentina to sell it cheaper than the locally produced,” he said.
Defending GMOs, he reiterated that the Kenya Kwanza administration lifted the ban to help the starving citizens. Kuria said the move is aimed at making sure that Kenyans do not die of hunger, not to harm the farmers’ earnings.” This GMO story is a topic that I wouldn’t want us to talk about. Let me tell you, when the price of maize flour drops to Sh120, you will not hear me talk about the genetically modified foods again.” Kuria said.