Kenya waives duty on imported maize to boost food security
Kenya on Friday announced the removal of duty on imported maize in a bid to boost food security in the light of a prolonged dry spell and household inflationary pressure.
The government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said the duty waiver on imported maize aims to stabilize the supply of the cereal which is a staple for many households.
Oguna said the government had embarked on finding a durable solution to food insecurity by expanding acreage under cultivation of maize and other staple crops like wheat and rice.
The number of Kenyans facing a food crisis has risen to 4.1 million, up from 3.5 million just a few months ago, the government said.
Oguna attributed Kenya's current food deficit to recurrent drought, desert locust infestation, Ukraine crisis, disruptions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and volatility in the international financial markets.
Oguna said that Kenya had identified several countries where millers could import two million metric tons of wheat every month to meet local demand, adding that he was optimistic that the retail prices of maize and wheat flour, bread, edible oil, potatoes, petrol, and kerosene will drop.
Oguna added that the government will also distribute subsidized fertilizer and other farm input in a bid to boost crop yield, food security, and rural incomes.