The Kenya National Farmers Federation (KeNFF) has supported the eviction of maize farmers from government forests.
In a circular from Forestry and Environment through Kenya Forest Services signed by CS Keriako Tobiko, maize farming through the famous Shamba system has been brought to an immediate end.
This has sparked an outcry from farmers who feel that the move is a death blow to food security and social economic development.
Speaking to The Scholar Media Africa in Mogotio during a tree planting exercise aimed at achieving the ten percent forest cover in Kenya, KNFF Secretary General in charge of Baringo County Kibet Koech Murgor revealed that the outfit is fully in support of Tobiko’s move to ban maize farming in government forests.
“Maize farming is a great danger to the safety of government forests because shamba system has been hijacked by dangerous cartels,” Murgor said.
He said that in not less than ten years now, some faceless individuals have been cultivating more than ten acres of maize in the forests just for commercial purposes, and refused to give up the land for tree replanting.
He dismissed claims that the move to ban maize farming in government forests was a doorway to food shortage, pointing out that just a small percentage of maize farmers rely on forest land in maize production.
Potatoes and beans are now the only crop KFS is allowing in the shamba system until Tobiko receives and studies a policy on the way forward from the National Forests conservator.
He addressed the subject recently in Londiani.