, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – Mandera South Member of Parliament Adan Ali Haji was Friday elected unopposed as Chairperson of the Agriculture Committee in the National Assembly.
The election of Haji was occasioned after Jubilee Party Members in the committee passed a vote of no-confidence against immediate former chairman Silas Tiren who he defied the party leadership orders to step down.
The election of Haji wrapped up the polls of the four committees whose rebel MPs who were elected as Chair and Vice Chair were ousted from their positions.
Haji who addressed the media soon after his election said the committee’s priority will be to address the issue of the Government Maize Subsidy Programme which was crucial in stabilising the price of maize flour in the country.
Consumers have had to pay more for maize flour after the six-month government subsidy programme closed on December 31.
A two kilogramme packet under the government’s Sh8 billion subsidized plan is sold at Sh90.
Haji said the free market approach being exercised by the government, millers and other stake holders will translate to better returns from farmers.
A bag of maize is currently retailing at Sh3,000 up from Sh2,800 the farm gate level.
Cereal farmers under the Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) claimed some influential cartels, were importing cheap produce and selling it to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) at exorbitant prices.
The lawmaker admitted that he and his members will have their hands full as they strive towards ensuring that the prices of maize flour are properly regulated and affordable to Kenyans.
“Members are going to inquire and interrogate the relevant state agencies concerned about the maize subsidy and then we will then begin to do a report on that.
Haji pledged that the committee will make it their business to see that Kenyans access the basic commodity at an affordable price.
“The government has assured that the price of a 2kg packet of maize flour will not surpass Sh115 and as a committee it will be our business to ensure that that figure does not go up,” said Haji.
Haji said that the committee was ready to work with the relevant State agencies to ensure that the basic commodity is available to all.