State to step up production of maize

Cabinet approves purchase of two million bags of maize from local farmers at Sh2300 apiece; growers want to sell at Sh3200.
Irrigation PS Prof Fred Segor has a word with Engineer Bancy Mati during the Engineering Partnership convention held at Sawela Lodge in Naivasha.

The Government plans to increase annual maize production from 40 million to 67 million 90kg bags by 2022.

This, Irrigation Principal Secretary Fred Segor said, would end the perennial maize shortage, with statistics indicating that the annual consumption stands at 52 million bags.

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He said the country had to import maize to plug the deficit.

“In order to meet the 2022 maize production target, it’s proposed that we expand irrigated land under maize by 195,909 acres,” Prof Segor said. He noted that under the programme, the Government also planned to increase rice production from the 112,800 to 408,486 tonnes in the same period.

“The current annual rice consumption is 538,370 tonnes and plans are underway to expand land under rice irrigation by 1,000 acres by 2019,” he said.

Segor was speaking during an engineering partnership convention at Sawela Lodge in Naivasha, Nakuru County.

“Engineers play a crucial role in the country’s development and we are challenging them to be proactive in policy-making and to assist in innovation mainly in the water sector,” he said.

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He added that the Government was keen to address food and nutrition challenges by reducing the cost of food from 47 to 24 per cent.

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