Nelson Wamboka, member of parliament for Bumula has commented on the upcoming duty-free imports of maize, rice, and sugar to achieve food security.
Beginning in February, the government plans to import 100,000 metric tonnes of duty-free sugar, 600,000 metric tonnes of rice, and 900,000 metric tonnes of duty-free maize.
The information was disclosed in a gazette notification dated December 19 by Treasury CS Njuguna Ndungu.
For the general knowledge of the public, it is announced that 900,000 metric tonnes of white maize grain and 600,000 metric tonnes of milled rice may be imported into the nation duty-free from February 1 through August 6, 2023, according to the notification. Wamboka claimed that the decision will harm local farmers who are now engaged in the corn harvesting season.
“Farmers in Kitale have maize; how will that go? You claim that you intend to overhaul the sugar sector, which is Western Kenya’s economic engine.
“What is left for us as Luhyas President Ruto? You are murdering us by bringing in sugar and corn. Nothing! Sugarcane and maize are no longer grown, “said he.
The importation of food products duty-free is consistent with government measures to address the current food scarcity brought on by persistent drought in some regions of the nation and the growing price of staple foods.
“I’m pleading with my fellow Luhyas to wake up and stop becoming sycophants of this administration. Let’s fight for what belongs to us “Wamboka declared.
To give millers time to use all local produce after the harvest season, the Ministry of Agriculture postponed the importation of the cereals until the next year. Farmers have opposed imports, claiming that they will drive down the price of their produce on the market.