Kenya gets a shot in the arm from Zambia

Zambia has agreed to offer Kenyan farmers land for large-scale farming. [File,Standard]

With a high population experiencing food shortage across the country, the government received a boost from Zambia.

This was after the country agreed to offer Kenyan farmers land for large-scale farming in the Southern Africa nation.

In addition, Kenya will also get maize surplus from Zambia as a short term measure to the current drought situation in Kenya.

This emerged during a bilateral talk between Kenya's Agriculture and Livestock Development Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi with his Zambian counterpart Reuben Mtolo in Lusaka on Monday.

Speaking during the meeting, Linturi said the two countries will put to pen a memorandum of understanding that will see Kenyan farmers allocated twenty thousand hectares of land for large-scale farming.

"The deal will help us to achieve food security by allowing Kenyan farmers to get permits to practice farming in Zambia and export the food to Kenya," Linturi said.

The CS further said this will put an end to the hunger situation in the country and also establish economic prosperity in the country.

Mtolo said Zambia's weather patterns are favourable for food production which will benefit Kenya's desire to achieve food security.

"We have agreed to allow Kenyan farmers to start large-scale farming in Zambia and export their harvests to Kenya. We have one of the best farms and weather in Zambia which is favorable for farming and it will be beneficial to Kenyans," Mtolo said.

He reiterated that, Zambia remains resilient and endowed with innovations that have turned around food security, generated employment, promoted trade for its citizens and for exports.

"Our short term measure is to stabilize Kenya maize flour demands and prices. However, our long term plan is to engage large scale farmers who will produce maize specifically for the Kenyan market," he added.

This comes in the wake of maize shortage in the country that has shot up prizes of maize flour.

The CS said the government is working on a modality to ensure the cost of food is affordable to the common citizen.

"The government will do everything possible to bring down the cost of food by adopting creative measures like such collaborations. The government of Zambia is willing to offer Kenyan farmers farm blocks where they can produce food for export markets," Linturi added.

Linturi warned Kenyan farmers who are hoarding maize as they wait for higher maize prices to release their yields.

"Those farmers who are hoarding maize in Kenya are doing injustice to our population. Very soon we will have sufficient maize that will reduce the cost of unga," he stated.

Linturi was accompanied by Crops Development Principal Secretary Kello Harsama, Kenyan Ambassador in Zambia Flora Karugu among other government officials.

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