The controversy over the directive by the Ministry of Agriculture that State will no longer purchase from maize farmers has been raised in Parliament after Nandi Senator Kiprotich Cherargei demanded a ministerial statement on the matter.
In his request for statement through the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator Cherargei wants the Agriculture Ministry state the circumstances that led to the decision.
The lawmaker pointed out that farmers depend entirely on the government for market of their produce.
He further queried why the Ministry continues to import maize at a much higher price than that used to purchase from local farmers.
“The committee should state why the ministry Agriculture is currently importing four millions bags of maize at much higher price than that of local farmers yet they are saying they will no longer buy from local farmers,” said Cherargei.
According to the legislator, the ministry should also explain why it has failed to cushion farmers during the coronavirus pandemic period.
Cherargei said farmers have been seriously affected economically due to the Covid-19 pandemic and should be supported especially on fertilisers and other farm inputs.
Last month, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya on Friday said the government does not intend to buy maize from local farmers.
He however announced that the government allowed the importation of four million bags of maize to cushion the country against food shortage as it battles the coronavirus pandemic.