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Nairobi, 13 March 2020-  The Strategic Food Reserve Oversight Board (SFR) has issued an advisory for the importation of 2 million bags of white maize before May to curb a possible flour crisis. 

Responding to these developments, Greenpeace Africa’s Food Campaigner, Claire Nasike has said:

“It is unreasonable for Dr. Noah Wekesa, SFR Board chairman – to suggest that the country does not have any reserves when thousands of bags of maize are rotting away in farmers’ stores.  Instead of spending millions of taxpayers money importing maize, the Board and the Ministry of Agriculture should buy maize from local farmers. 

“The  Ministry of Agriculture stage-managed a maize scarcity crisis last year by attempting to import 12.5 million bags of maize when local farmers were about to harvest.  Some of the maize imported in 2018 was later found to contain harmful aflatoxins which are linked to cancer.

“The Strategic Reserve Oversight Board cannot quantify food insecurity in Kenya exclusively on the absence of maize. The Ministry of Agriculture should encourage the growth and consumption of indigenous foods, such as Millet, Sorghum and Cassava to reduce the over-reliance on maize and avoid food imports.  

“Greenpeace Africa is calling on the Ministry of Agriculture and SFR  to prioritise the agriculture sector by ensuring that they purchase maize from local farmers and pay them on time. They should also uphold the right of Kenyans to safe food by not importing food contaminated with poisonous substances.”

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