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Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi asks Kenyans to eat rice owing to looming maize flour shortage

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mithika Linturi has asked Kenyans to eat rice as an alternative to ugali.

The CS explained that the world is experiencing a shortage of maize making it difficult for the government to purchase the grain.

“We are trying to look for maize out there but the truth of the matter is that it is not there,” explained Linturi.

“Some of the countries we have approached do not want to share their maize with us because they are afraid of their food security. I, therefore, urge Kenyans to embrace rice, potatoes, and other food substitutes. We have already brought tonnes of rice and we are bringing more next week.”

Kenya has experienced a shortage of maize for the past three years mainly owing to failure to harvest enough.

This has led to the importation of the precious commodity from Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia and consequently, an increase in prices.

Maize flour is Kenya’s staple food and each family is said to consume ugali at least once a day.

Meanwhile, the price of maize flour has increased to almost Sh200 per 2kg packet leading to an outcry among Kenyans.

The high price of maize flour is the benchmark of the opposition’s weekly protests.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga has consistently lamented the withdrawal of subsidies on maize flour which he says has left a majority of Kenyans struggling to purchase the previous commodity.

He has demanded that President William Ruto returns the subsidy on maize flour as was the case during former president Uhuru Kenyatta’s tenure.

President Ruto has shot down that idea but announced his government has distributed millions of fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices in a bid to shore up production.

The fertilizer subsidy program is aimed at helping farmers access farm input at a reduced cost of Sh3,500 per 50kg bag.

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