Ruto announces plans to stop importation of maize from 2025
President William Ruto says the Kenya Kwanza administration is committed to doubling food production in the country in a bid to eliminate dependence on imports.
Speaking during a church service in Eldoret on Sunday, October 29, the Head of State said the government has put in place measures to ensure Kenya does not import maize from 2025.
To maximise production, President Ruto encouraged farmers to take advantage of the government's fertiliser subsidy to achieve high yields.
"I know most farmers use 50kgs of fertiliser per acre. From next year, we will double that and by 2025 Kenya will not be importing food into the country again. We will make sure that our farmers produce enough and benefit from their hard work," President Ruto said while announcing the production of an extra 12-15 million bags of maize this year.
''We don’t want to import maize ever again from another country. Next year will be the last year that we will be importing maize. From 2025, we won’t import even a single sack of maize. All the maize will be produced in Kenya,'' he added.
Ruto pledges gov't support
The President also pledged the government's support in availing tractors in "every part of Kenya" to deal with "mechanization" challenges that farmers often face.
The Commander-in-Chief also said the government would increase access to maize dryers to support farmers who dry their maize on the roadsides.
''You can dry your maize and we will give you storage at the Cereal Board for Ksh10 per month as you look for a market for your produce. We have bought 100 driers and you will distribute them across areas to help you dry your maize,'' Ruto stated adding that the farmers would not be compelled to sell their produce to the government.
"The government will give you Ksh4,000 per bag but we will not force you to sell to us. If you find someone with a better price just sell to them. At the end of the day, it's your maize."
He said the government had also stepped up measures to deal with brokers and middlemen in the distribution of the subsidised fertiliser.
President Ruto said several people had been arrested after attempts to defraud farmers.
President William Ruto had in August announced a 29 per cent reduction in fertiliser prices ahead of the planting season.
The reduction saw the prices of a 50 kg bag of fertiliser reduced from Ksh3,500 to Ksh2,500 effective August 1, 2023.
"Today, I am proud to announce the commencement of the second phase of our programme. On this leg, we shall begin by immediately bringing down the price of fertiliser from Ksh3,500 to Ksh2,500 per 50 kg bag," he said.