Zambia and Kenya have conditionally agreed on a deal under which the Lusaka government will give Kenyan commercial farmers land to produce maize.
A local media report has it that,a memorandum of understanding (MOU) permitting Kenyan farmers to grow maize in Zambia will be signed.
“I am happy the Zambian government has agreed to offer Kenyan farmers land for large-scale farming in Zambia. Kenyan farmers will in turn be required to export their yields back to Kenya in order to boost our food supply and security,” Linturi is quoted as saying.
He stated that the agreement was reached during a meeting he had on Monday in Lusaka with his Zambian counterpart, Reuben Mtolo, although he did not provide a date for its signing.
According to Linturi, the proposed MOU is anticipated to lower the price of maize and its products in both countries.
“Based on the projections he shared with us, the farmers will be able to achieve the objective of bringing down the cost of unga (maize meal) because, clearly, they got it right and there is something to learn from them.”
He said officials from the two countries would work out the price at which Zambia would sell the maize to Kenya, which “of course, (would be) a much lower price than we are currently getting from the traders.”
Farmers in Zambia would gain from the agreement as well because Kenya would receive short-term access to Zambia’s surplus maize.
Following a recent shortfall of maize meal in Kenya, which Linturi attributed to farmers stockpiling in anticipation of higher producer prices, an agreement with Zambia is now being negotiated.