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Through the Eastern African Grain Council, they asked the State to introduce measures that can mitigate and protect the Kenya against the rising food costs and the sharp decline in the land under cultivation.
“A time has come for Kenya to think about the concept of maize without borders whereby the country can import maize from other regions without being subjected to taxation and other barriers,” said council chairman Nick Hutchinson.
Maize imported from outside Comesa attracts 50 per cent import duty, but the National Cereals and Produce Board is allowed to import duty-free. Few countries in Comesa have sufficient maize harvest but have banned exports while others are facing maize shortages.
Mr Hutchinson, also the managing director of Unga Group, said farmers should prepare for a season of increased fertiliser and land preparation costs.
“But one of the solutions is for farmers to take up part of the responsibility associated with food scarcity and improve on their farming techniques because we think the smallholder farmers can still get more from their limited land sizes.”
Meanwhile, a US government-funded maize development programme will hold a two-day business show at Moi University beginning Thursday to speed up the region’s post-election recovery.
The show, organised by the Kenya Maize Development Programme will bring together cereal and dairy farmers as well as dealers.
“This event will link farmers to the market through the different players within the food chain,” said the programme’s country director Steve Collins.
“It will also provide farmers with an opportunity to understand emerging trends such as warehouse receipting.”
PARASTATAL heads who signed the Mombasa port community charter risk being sacked if their agencies do not deliver on the contents of the new entity. The charter signed between the government and the private sector aims at improving the movement of cargo from the port into hinterland