The severe drought in Kenya may result in ten million people going hungry in Kenya the government said on Friday.

The government declared a national emergency and will lift the import duty on maize until the next major harvest, which will not be for another year after the failed rains in the last two seasons and reduced production due to last year's post-election crisis in which more than 1,000 people were killed and many farmers were too frightened to return home and plant crops.

An additional five million bags of maize will be imported to cater for an expected national shortfall.

Friday's meeting also formed an inter-ministerial committee and the government plans to immediately start working out the modalities of executing the national emergency that will entail taking extra-ordinary measures to get food to the people.

This will involve availing famine relief packages that will include foodstuffs including maize and beans, indicated the statement.

The government also plans to distribute free and subsidized fertilizer, seeds and farm equipment.