NASA has promised to invest heavily in modern farming to boost maize yields and shield Kenyans from hunger.photo:courtesy
NASA has promised to invest heavily in modern farming to boost maize yields and shield Kenyans from hunger.
The promise comes at a time when most Kenyans are feeling the heat of hard economic times with millions grappling with the escalating prices of fuel and basic foodstuffs such as maize flour.
The Opposition, in its manifesto unveiled in Nairobi, says maize production has stagnated at 8.5 bags per acre, against a potential of 30 bags per acre. This, it says, reflects low yields among smallholders who produce 80 per cent of maize in the country.
“Increasing maize yields by only four bags per acre on current acreage would increase the country’s production by 16 million bags per year, enough to keep up with consumption growth for another decade,” reads the document.
This would be done in collaboration with the county governments to construct food storage silos and fresh produce banks at every ward to ensure storage of dry grains and fresh produce.
“There is nothing to be proud of in feeding Europe with fresh vegetables and adorning the developed world’s tables with flowers but still ranking among the bottom 20 of the most food insecure countries in the world,” says the manifesto that NASA wants to implement if elected on August 8.
The Opposition is promising to establish a National Food Security Council to continuously advise Government and keep the public appraised of the state of food security in order to ensure constant preparedness.
NASA says no Government agency will get away with passing the buck in case of a national food crisis.
“We need to get our priorities right. Our first duty and priority is to feed ourselves. To be able bodied. To not be able to feed one-self is to be stripped off one’s dignity,” says the document in part.
It adds: “Farmers should be the last people to go hungry. Majority of those who go hungry are farmers; Sugar cane farmers in Western Kenya have been economically strangulated by the successive years.
We believe that every farmer has the potential to produce a surplus. If some farmers in Busia can get 20 bags of maize per acre, there is no reason why every farmer in Busia cannot do the same.”
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