Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi praises Zambia’s maize farming model
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mithika Linturi has praised Zambia for its ability to produce maize.
With a population of about 18 million people, CS Linturi said the country has streamlined its agricultural sector.
“I saw with my own eyes the potential in that country during my recent visit. It has a lot of potential in terms of agriculture,” he recounted.
Last month, Linturi opened up on his visit to the landlocked, resource-rich country with sparsely populated land in the center of Southern Africa.
The tour was meant to benchmark how Zambia has managed to improve its maize production, with the CS announcing that Kenya will contract Zambian farmers to grow maize exclusively for the Kenyan market as the government seeks to lower the cost of the staple, with the first consignment under the agreement expected in Kenya in August.
As the Kenya Kwanza administration claims it’s committed to improving the agriculture sector, Mr Linturi’s remarks, however, did not go well with most Kenyans as they poked holes over the deal.
Later, Zambia Finance Minister, Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane stated the country will not be exporting maize to Kenya this season because it has a deficit in the grain.
The minister instead said, the country will be importing maize to supplement the shortfalls occasioned by a poor harvest last season.
CS Linturi praised the country over what he termed as having a favorable climatic conditions.
“The weather there is very conducive for farming, with fertile soils.”
He defended the trip, noting it was funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Just like the farming and food programs spearheaded by the UN-owned organization in Kenya, CS Linturi said there is a replica of the same in Zambia.
Meanwhile, a petitioner has challenged Linturi’s announcement in court Kenya contracting Zambian farmers to grow maize.
Kenya is facing an acute shortage of maize, leading to the high cost of maize flour (Unga).