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Kenya Rolls Out Measures to Boost Corn Output, Curb Imports

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced measures to reduce the cost of producing corn and curb imports of the grain that most homes in the East African nation depend on for starch.

Kenyatta said the minimum price for a 90-kilogram bag of corn is set at 2,500 shillings ($23), and he ordered millers to purchase all the grain that’s available locally before considering importation.

According to the report seen by NCMP, the state-owned National Cereals and Produce Board will cut charges farmers pay to dry corn by 50% to 20 shillings and reduce storage fees by 70% to 3 shillings, Kenyatta said in an emailed statement.

The government is looking to boost the supply of corn, which is called maize in Kenya, and limit imports to come only from the East African Community and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa member states. Kenya consumes about 4.25 million 90-kilogram bags of corn every month, and had in stock about 16.2 million bags of corn in May.

“This will ensure that farmers are able to store or sell their maize at the appropriate moisture content and thus contribute to enhance farmers’ income,” Kenyatta said. Outstanding payments for corn supplies to the NCPB should be settled this week, and the agriculture ministry should avail inputs including fertilizer within one month, before the next planting season, he said.

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