• Zambian government had agreed to offer Kenyan farmers land for large-scale farming.
• Kenyan farmers will in turn be required to export maize back to Kenya.
There is scant information as to how the Kenyan government wants to grow maize in Zambia as part of taming the perennial maize shortage in the country.
Information on the deal is still within few government officers even as interested farmers demand full disclosure to enable them to make an informed investment decision.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi early last month announced plans by the government to contract farmers from Zambia to grow maize on behalf of the Kenya government.
The CS stated that growing maize in Zambia is cheap in terms of cost of production as well as favourable weather.
If the two governments agree on the deal, it will be the first time Kenya will produce maize from other regional markets to feed her growing population.
The Kenya government was also planning to contract local farmers to lease land in Zambia to grow maize and sell the same to the government.
"I am happy the Zambian government has agreed to offer Kenyan farmers land for large-scale farming. Kenyan farmers will in turn be required to export their yields back to Kenya in order to boost our food supply and security," Linturi said then.
More than one month down the line, the CS is yet to divulge more information about the intended maize deal between the two governments.
Linturi at the same time had announced that the Kenya government fast-tracked a bilateral engagement with Zambia government to allow the former to import more maize.
But early this week the matter has taken a new direction as the Zambian government announced its maize stocks are low and thus cannot import.
Zambian agriculture minister had in early March confirmed surplus maize stocks which he promised to export to Kenya.
Agriculture PS Kello Harsama, when contacted today, blamed the current situation on a global maize shortage, adding that in Africa only South Africa has maize stocks which have triggered stiff competition by countries also grappling with dwindling food reserves.