The government will be forced to import maize if farmers continue to hoard their produce and demand high prices, the National Assembly Committee on Agriculture has warned. Committee chairman Adan Ali said growers have refused to part with maize in the hope of making more money. The chairman added that the local market is offering better prices than the government, thus farmers are avoiding the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB). But farmers have vowed to oppose any bid to import maize. Producers under the Cereal Growers Association said importation of duty-free maize will jeopardise food security as well as increase the cost of farming. The farmers also accused the government of hatching a plot to import maize from Mexico through some listed traders. But the Agriculture committee said the government, through the Strategic Food Reserve (SFR), has only managed to purchase 417, 000, 90kg bags of maize from farmers vis-à-vis a target of two million bags. The two million bags target was set by President Kenyatta in January when he ordered NCPB to buy maize from farmers at a cost of Sh2,500 per 90kg bag.
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