Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong has blamed the National Government for the perpetual shortage of Unga in the country and has offered a permanent solution to the vice.
Speaking during a live program on Busia FM on Saturday evening, the Governor urged the National Government to hand over Maize and Produce Board Depots to County Governments to be used as storage facilities for maize and other grains.
“There are times when we realize bumper harvest, but due to poor post-harvest handling and storage practices we end up losing a lot of crop. There is no reason for continued suffering from food insecurity.
We need to cushion our people against constant food shortages by storing enough during harvest period and then sell to them at subsidized prices during stock outs. This is the way to go.
I am disappointed that the Cereal boards have been turned into storage of non food products like salt. This is the main cause of food shortage in the country, thus leading to importation of maize from Mexico and Zambia,” he said.
“We have a maize milling plant in Busia. This calls for storage of enough maize to enable the milling firm operate at full capacity. Busia can feed the entire country if we buy cereals from farmers during harvest instead of allowing businessmen from outside the country to purchase them at throw away prices and later sell to them at abnormal prices during hunger,” he said.
Ojaamong said PALWECO taught farmers on good farming techniques and how to store maize at the correct moisture content, thus reducing the culture of selling the entire produce during harvest.
The Governor said his Government has provided seeds and fertilizer during planting seasons for selected farmers in every Ward across Busia County, thus increasing crop production.
However, Ojaamong said the major challenge was constant delays by the National Government in releasing funds to County Governments.
” Fueling of tractors to meet high demand of farmers during planting season is our undoing sometimes. We shall purchase a tractor per each of the 35 wards and provide subsidized farm inputs to all farmers,” he said.
Photo: Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong with presenter Calvin Wanga at Busia FM studios on Monday evening.