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LOOMING SHORTAGE

No maize subsidy this year, Kiunjuri says

CS says government will only work out logistics to ensure millers import maize on time

In Summary

•Millers will be allowed to import 12.5 million bags of non-genetically modified maize

•CS confirms current maize stocks will last until end of this month

Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri
SHORTAGE: Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri
Image: FILE

The government will not subsidise maize imports for millers this year.

Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri on Tuesday told the Star the government will only work out logistics to ensure millers import maize on time.

In 2017, the government set aside Sh6 billion subsidy programme to reduce the price of a two-kilo packet of maize flour to Sh90. The price had skyrocketed to Sh150 following shortage of maize.

Millers imported a 90kg bag at Sh4,300 which the government subsidised at Sh2, 300.

But the process of maize importation was marred with corruption which saw eight National Cereals and Produce Board officials implicated in the scandal.

“This will help weed out corruption in maize importation which has been a problem in the past. We will only help in logistics to ensure importation is not messed up. We will also involve institutions charged with investigations including the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Directorate of Criminal Investigations to thoroughly check the process of maize importation,” he said.

Kiunjuri said the government wants to ensure millers do not flood the country with maize imports and will only import what is required to stabilise prices.

The CS said millers and traders will be allowed to import 12.5 million bags of non-genetically modified maize for production of flour and commercial animal feeds.
Ten million bags will be for human consumption while 2.5 million bags will be used to produce animal feeds.

 

The CS confirmed that the current maize stocks will only be enough until end of this month.

 

“The declining food stock demands importation of 12.5 million bags for human and animal consumption.  To ensure the country is safe the importation must be done between July and December this year, quantities that will be supplemented by harvests from South Rift and parts of Western Kenya in the next four months,” Kiunjuri said.