- The Zambian government put to pen a memorandum of understanding for agricultural collaboration with Kenyan producers.
- This move will lead to the reduction of the cost of maize and its products
- The Kenyan government has launched a road map to boost and strengthen irrigation infrastructure.
The government of Zambia represented by Agriculture Minister Reuben Phiri agreed to put to pen a memorandum of understanding for agriculture collaboration.
As part of this agreement, the southern African country will provide permits to Kenyan producers to grow maize on the 20,000-hectare plots allocated to them and to export their crops to their country of origin. Mr. Phiri believes that the climate and land in Zambia are favorable for agriculture and will ultimately benefit the Kenyans. The government also accepted to supply Kenya with its surplus maize as a short-term measure to boost local supplies and stabilize prices.
This move will help solve the food crisis in Africa one step at a time. The Kenya’s Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi also agrees that the move would lead to the reduction of the cost of maize and its products in the country and collectively lead to the realization of food and nutrition security. He said “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 to boost our food supply and security.”
This will help Kenya battle the acute shortage of maize, which is partly caused by the ongoing worst drought they have ever experienced in 40 years, which has in turn pushed maize prices to record highs.
The government has made various attempts, including removing the ban on GM foods and ordering duty-free maize to shore up supply and reduce the price, but their efforts have seemed futile.
The government, however, is unrelenting in its efforts to bring down maize prices. It has re-introduced subsidies for maize fertilizer and is working to ensure the much-awaited 10 million bags of duty-free maize arrive in Kenya.
The government of Kenya has also launched a new roadmap titled “National Irrigation Services Strategy” that will cost it Sh389 billion to boost and strengthen irrigation infrastructure and support the realization of food security in the country.
The strategy strengthens the efforts of the country, which also includes the opening up of 5,000 acres of the Galana-Kulalu Irrigation Scheme to private companies next month under the private-public partnership (PPP).
Twiga Foods, a leading agri-tech firm, has already been allocated some 20,000 acres in the expansive scheme for maize production.
According to the PS for Agriculture, Twiga Foods and other private investors seeking to farm in Galana-Kulalu will be first required to plant maize in the first season before exploring any other crops of their wishes.
“National Irrigation Authority will now play a supervisory role by ensuring that everything is moving on as planned,” the PS said. “The development of the scheme, which they have been doing before, will now be left to private investors.”
This effort by the Zambian government shows solidarity; the willingness of the next person to help a teammate and that is what Africans stand for.