Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mithika Linturi revealed a deal between Kenya and Zambia that could see the cost of maize floor in the country drop.
Linturi, who was hosted by Zambian counterpart Reuben Mtolo in Lusaka on Monday, March 6, announced that the two countries would ink a deal allowing Kenyan farmers to grow maize in Zambia.
"I am happy the Zambian government has agreed to offer Kenyan farmers land for large-scale farming in Zambia. Kenyan farmers will in turn be required to export their yields back to Kenya in order to boost our food supply and security," he stated.
The CS welcomed the commitment from Mtolo, maintaining that the partnership between the Kenyan and Zambian governments would lead to the realisation of food and nutrition security locally.
Linturi further explained that the new memorandum of understanding would lead to the reduction of the cost of maize and its products in the country.
"Based on the projections he shared with us, the farmers will be able to achieve the objective of bringing down the cost of unga because clearly, they got it right and there is something to learn from them.
"We will be able to work out a price at which they will be able to sell maize to the country at of course a much lower price than we are currently getting from the traders," he reiterated.
Zambian farmers would also benefit from the deal as their government agreed to supply Kenya with their surplus maize in the short term.
Meanwhile, he warned the farmers in the country who caused an artificial shortage in the country by holding onto their produce with the hope of getting better rates.
He advised them to release the maize, stating that once the product from Zambia is harvested, they would be forced to sell it at throw-away prices.
Linturi expressed confidence that the six-month duty-free importation window would see the country meet its local demand for maize.
Currently, a 2-kg packet of maize flour retails between Ksh185-250. During his campaigns, President William Ruto vowed to lower the cost to Ksh70 once he assumed office.