Even as the standoff between the Strategic Food Reserve board chairman Noah Wekesa and Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri continues to escalate concerning the importation of 19 million bags of maize, Cherangani MP Joshua Kuttuny has hit at Kiunjuri accusing him of working for the cartels.
Speaking shortly after meeting ODM chief Raila Odinga at his Capitol hill over challenges faced by maize farmers, Kuttuny dismissed the claims saying there is no maize shortage in the country. Kuttuny said that CS Kiunjuri is only serving the needs of cartels by importing maize.
Kuttuny who has been so vocal against some leaders in his own Rifta Valley backyard accused them of taking advantage of the situation to enrich themselves at the expense of farmers.
Hon Kutuny was angered by Cs Agriculture Mwangi Kiunjuri over the intended influx maize Importation when domestic farmers produce is traced by aflatoxin and other pests due to lack of market.
Kutuuny’s claims were echoed by Mr. Noah Wekesa who dismissed Kiunjuri’s bid to have 19 million maize importation. According to Kenya Grain Strategic Reserve Chairman, the shortage of maize is artificial as the country has an adequate supply of the grain.
”The maize shortage issue is just a scam and currently, a non-issue as there is sufficient stock of maize,” Wekesa said.
Kuttuny’s sentiments come even as Wekesa and Kiunjuri’s standoff continues to leave the country in different paths. Wekesa says that the country only needs to import 2 million bags with Kiunjuri insisting that Wekesa’s sentiments only amount to insubordination.
The CS had on Wednesday said the country would import 19 million bags to plug its deficit. Kiunjuris sentiments have already been resisted by a section of farmers who felt the country still have enough maize and CS’s move is only meant to benefit some cartels inside the ministry at the expense of farmers.
On his part, Kiunjuri termed Wekesa’s remarks as careless being driven by some political classes. He said that it was only the ministry that is mandated to gauge whether the food available in the stores is enough for the country or not.
“I do not know where he is mustering the courage to attack the ministry. Wekesa can only talk after getting the right information form the ministry. If he wants to play politics, so can we,” Kiunjuri was quoted saying.
Received a briefing from officials of the Strategic Food Reserve Trustee Fund on the food situation in the country with a particular reference to Maize. The officials were accompanied by a section of MPs from Maize producing regions in our country. pic.twitter.com/dYu44gmKUg
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) July 11, 2019
Caleb Kositany who has been advocating for avocado was aptly present and he ultimately agreed with Hon kutuny about the recent retrogressive moves by Cs agriculture to import the maize which will sabotage internal production.
In recent past Kositany has been going against the notion of diversification which is meant to oppress small scale farmers in North rift which Cherangany Mp Hon kutuny has been advocating.
Elgeyo-Marakwet county Governor Alex Tolgos had also dismissed the shortage of maize saying that farmers in the North Rift Valley have maize in their stores.
Joshua Kuttuny, Noah Wekesa, and Moiben MP Silas Tiren had on Thursday led a group of delegation to visit Raila at his Capitol Hill office, where they briefed the former premier on the progress they were making in streamlining the sector and ensuring farmers get value for their produce.