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Farmers blame government over maize shortage

By Michael Ollinga | January 23rd 2017 at 14:57:33 GMT +0300

North Rift farmers have turned blame to the government over the current maize shortage in the country.

The agitated farmers say the shortage is as a result of neglect of their proposal by the government.

The farmers are categorical that the national government has failed to harness the maximum production potential of local farmers due to under funding of the sector that is a pillar to the nation's economy.

Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) Director Kipkorir Menjo observed that key parastatals including Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), Agriculture Finance Corporation and the National Cereals Board (NCPB) have been consistently underfunded making cereals and grains farming unmanageable to many farmers.

"If ADC which is currently in a financial crisis could be sufficiently funded, we would have surplus quality certified seeds, AFC needs more money to adequately finance farmers to invest maximally in their farms. NCPB also needs more money to purchase more maize for strategic grain reserve which the government has failed to provide," he explained.

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He said sufficient funding of the agricultural corporations would itself ensure maximum production by local farmers hence saving the huge expenditure used to import maize due to annual shortages.

According to Menjo, since Kenya signed the Maputo Declaration of 2003 on Agriculture and Food Security and reinforced the commitment to allocate a minimum of 10 per cent of the national budget to agriculture by signing the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agriculture Growth in 2014 the country has never increased funding for the sector.

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