A Press Statement JUNE 8TH. 2017.
Cost of Basic Commodities
For the last 3 years East Africa, Southern Africa and the Horn of Africa have been experiencing the worst drought in the last 20 years, both in intensity and duration. As a result, the region is experiencing a shortage of key agricultural supplies pushing up the cost of basic food commodities.
In KENYA’S case, the worst affected commodity is maize due to the fact that it is a staple food.
It is against this background that the government has progressively put in place several measures to protect the vulnerable sections of our communities. We have also ensured that the public is kept informed of what the government is doing to avoid a situation where citizens are overrun by unnecessary anxiety and despondency.
It is therefore unfortunate that yesterday, Hon. Raila Odinga who is campaigning to be President made objectionable allegations about the government effort in this matter.
The same allegations have been widely circulated in the media.
Hon Odinga is quoted as saying that the government of Kenya has frustrated the importation of cheap maize from Ethiopia. He went on to ask H.E. the President to travel to Ethiopia and negotiate for such importation.
I wish to inform the public that as early as February 2017, H.E. the President Uhuru Kenyatta sent a delegation to Ethiopia to negotiate for maize imports from this friendly country. As a result, the Ethiopian
government has so far allowed the importation of 13000 metric tons of maize into Kenya.
During negotiations with the mailers who had expressed interest to import maize, it became clear that a 90 kilograms bag of maize from Ethiopia would retail at between 4400 and 5000 shillings given the obtaining dependent variables. The notion that this maize will be cheap is therefore grossly misguided.
Finally and of critical public interest, information to the public is that the current approval for importation of maize is completely open and all government departments have been advised accordingly.
Once again the insinuation that anybody is frustrating certain importers is seriously misguided. The government has no preference whatever for maize from any destination or by any importer.
The only condition is that the maize will pass a stringent test of fitness for human consumption and that with a subsidy of 1000 shillings per bag it will be able to reach mwananchi at a price of 90 shillings per 2 kilogram bag. Once you are able to meet this condition, all relevant government departments have been directed to facilitate you on priority basis.
We hesitate to note that Hon. Raila Odinga himself is a suave businessman and he can exploit this opportunity.
From the onset, it’s apparent that the national government has no intention whatsoever to micro manage County Government as this is a devolved function. We however note that whatever technicalities there is in the current dispute, nothing either in the nursing profession or in the tenets of civilized society justifies the loss of human life in peacetime.
The message to nurses is therefore that whatever it is that you arguing about, don’t fall to the gimmicks of political tricksters who would deem it worthwhile to cause suffering or even sacrifice human life for temporary causes.
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE HON. CABINET SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF
AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK AND FISHERIES ON THE FOOD SITUATION IN
Our attention has been drawn…….. to a press conference addressed this afternoon 7-6-17
by the former prime minister and NASA presidential candidate with allegations that the
hunger situation is a deliberate creation of the state.
It is a known fact that the hunger situation is a regional matter not confined
to Kenya. As at now, Kenya is at a better position in terms of the prices that
are being offered for Unga.
From the time government got early warnings on drought, it took the
By August 2016, interventions were already ongoing through the
Ministry of Devolution, way before the much-acclaimed Hon.
RailaOdinga’s alternative assertions.
In November 2016, after reviewing the situation, the government upscaled
the intervention programme by putting in place a four-phased
National drought mitigation programme – running between November,
2016 to October 2017. This saw provision of relief food to over 3
million Kenyans in the 23 ASAL Counties.
Besides the Government
1. Water tracking
2. Livestock off-take
3. Feed supplements and diseases control
4. Extended and up-scaled cash transfers to the most vulnerable in
By February 2017, after a further review of the situation through our
monthly food security assessments, H.E. the president declared the
drought a national disaster.
In April 2017, theGovernment removed VAT on maize flour and bread
as an incentive to lower the prices for the benefit of consumers.
Further, after another review of the situation, the Government waived
duty on the importation of maize.
Contrary to the assertions that this was a preserve of a few importers, this opportunity is open to everyone as long as they meet the quality standards.
So far, the process has been successful and we have stocks from all over including Ethiopia. In addition, all the other agencies of Government have been sensitized to facilitate the process.
Other essential food commodities;
By virtue of the Government’s intervention and being a responsible Government;
The price of maize flour will continue retailing at Kshs. 90 until the situation normalizes. Interventions and supplies are being up-scaled and this is set to reach every corner of the Country including posho mills.
From last week, milk started retailing at Kshs. 50 per half litre packet.
Sugar prices have been addressed and by next Monday, the price of 1 kg of sugar will start retailing at Kshs. 120.
In conclusion, the Government is on top of the situation and is being handled in the most professional, proficient and transparent manner.As a Government, we refuse to be derailed by sideshows for political expediency. It would therefore be very unfortunate for anybody of whatever status in society to use the food situation due to natural causes, for political millage.
HON. WILLY BETT
CABINET SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, LIVESTOCK AND FISHERIES.