NAIROBI, Kenya is staring at a longer period of food insecurity with the government warning of a prolonged maize shortage because of suppressed and delayed rainfall as well as Fall Armyworm infestation in major maize producing regions.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Willy Bett has projected a 25 per cent drop in maize harvests to 27 million bags this year with the erratic rainfall and infestation of Fall Armyworm in major maize producing regions combining to cut this year’s maize harvest by 9.25 million bags, representing a 25 per cent reduction.
Maize yields will this year fall to 27 million bags, down from the 37 million bags harvested last season and Bett said here Tuesday that imports would be required to bridge the deficit to meet the country’s annual maize consumption of nearly 40 million bags.
In order to address the maize stock shortages currently being experienced, the government plans to facilitate the Kenyan private sector to import 1.1 million bags of maize from Zambia to supplement the government’s subsidized maize flour programme.
Zambia has an excess 1.4 million bags of maize above its national requirement.
In order to ensure that the maize from Zambia arrived within the shortest time possible, the Kenyan government would carry out destination inspection of the maize. The Zambian government, meanwhile, has committed to dedicating a special lane to facilitate express clearance for maize and sugar exports to Kenya.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK