Kenya’s initiative to lease land in Zambia for maize cultivation, aimed at augmenting domestic production, has received parliamentary endorsement.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi affirms the ongoing viability of the plans, stressing Kenya’s commitment to structured maize cultivation in the Southern Africa State.

“The recent visit by the agriculture parliamentary committee to Zambia yielded favourable recommendations. The government is optimistic about advancing this initiative to bolster production and augment local food supplies,” said Mr Linturi.

Mr Linturi underscored Zambia’s abundant land and favorable climate as compelling factors driving Kenya’s interest in maize cultivation to meet the demands of a burgeoning population.

The proposal to lease land is positioned within the government’s broader strategy to accelerate efforts enhancing food security and self-sufficiency.

Chairman of Kenya’s Agriculture Committee in Parliament, John Mutunga, confirmed the committee’s recent attendance at an African Union (AU) sponsored agriculture meeting in Zambia, where they also delved into the land leasing matter.

“During the meeting, Zambian authorities presented a convincing case, affirming that foreign entities are authorised to lease land for maize cultivation,” said Dr Mutunga.

He highlighted Zambia’s readiness to facilitate land use for Kenya’s maize cultivation plans. However, Dr Mutunga stressed that the success of the venture hinges on private sector involvement, urging government collaboration for optimal outcomes.

Dr Mutunga said Zambia’s expansive untapped land and sparse population, presents a favorable opportunity for Kenya to amplify food production.

He also noted that the cost of production in Zambia is lower compared to Kenya, further enhancing the economic feasibility of the endeavour.