State sets aside Sh6bn to buy maize

The government will buy maize offered by farmers for sale and it has also contracted experts to help control the army worm pest that has ravaged farms in some parts of the country.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the maize bought from farmers will go to the strategic food reserve to improve food security in the country.

“To boost our food security and sustain affordable price for maize flour, the government will buy under the Strategic Food Reserve, all the maize offered for sale by our farmers during this 2017/18 season. For this purpose, we have programmed to spend Sh6 billion,” he said.

EXPERTS

He was speaking when he officially opened the Nairobi International Trade Fair, which started Monday and will come to a close on Saturday.

President Kenyatta said the government will spend Sh300 million to facilitate the team of contracted experts to address the fall army worm menace, which has destroyed crops across the country.

He noted that while diseases and the drought, which has lasted two years in some parts of the country have impacted negatively on food security, the government has come up with measures to cushion farmers.

CREDIT

Some of the things measures he mentioned were subsidised commodities, access to credit, and insurance to farmers.

In access to credit for instance, he said the government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Equity Bank, where the State will underwrite loans worth Sh300 million.

Under the agreement, the bank will issue loans to farmers at 12 per cent interest per annum to a tune of Sh20 billion.

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