TWO MILLION BAGS

Millers have until end of July to import maize

First consignment from Mexico expected in mid-June.

In Summary
  • Munya said after that they will not be allowed to import as the long rains harvest will start coming into the market.
  • The maize will sell for Sh3,200 per 90kg bag at the Port of Mombasa, Sh3,500 in Nairobi and Sh3,700 in Nakuru.
Maize in a warehouse.
Maize in a warehouse.
Image: FILE

Millers have been given until the end of July to import two million bags of maize.

Agriculture CS Peter Munya said on Thursday the government extended the period to give millers enough time to source for maize.

“Initially we had given the window for importation until May but they said they could not get maize from the neighbouring countries. They needed to source further in Mexico and this would take about two months to get the maize shipped in the country, hence the extension till July,” he said.

 

Munya said after that they will not be allowed to import maize as the long rains harvest from Western and South Rift will start coming into the market.

The CS said only licensed millers will be allowed to import maize. He said the two million bags will be imported equally by large-scale and small-scale millers’ associations.  

Kennedy Nyaga, chairman of United Grains Millers Association, said on Friday they expect the first consignment of imported maize from Mexico in mid-June and the other in mid-July.

He said the maize will sell for Sh3,200 per 90kg bag when it gets to the Port of Mombasa and the price will increase to Sh3,500 in Nairobi and about Sh3,700 in Nakuru.

“Currently, millers are still mopping up the little maize being held by farmers at Sh3,000 to Sh3,200. But demand for maize flour is very low. This is because purchasing power has gone down due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Nyaga said.

He said even though the government has only allowed licensed millers to import, it should put stringent measures to ensure cartels do not start forming their own milling associations to get into the importing business.

There are about 30 large-scale milling companies and 200 small-scale ones.

 

“I applaud the government for the reforms it has brought in to weed out cartels in the maize business but something should be done to manage millers that are exporting so that the cartels do not shift to this business,” Nyaga said.

Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya