- The committee noted that a multi-agency team was put in place to oversee the programme but it did not provide a report on areas of coverage.
- It added that the maize flour under the programme was not stamped “subsidy.”
A maize flour subsidy programme implemented in mid 2022 did not yield the anticipated results, a report of Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock shows.
The report, which has been tabled before the National Assembly, says the programme may not have achieved its intended objective of supplying sifted white maize flour in all parts of the country at Sh100
It added that the maize flour under the programme was not stamped “subsidy.”
This, the report points out, may have reduced the success levels because the flour could have been hoarded by unscrupulous value chain suppliers and sold at higher profits at the end of the programme.
The John Mutunga-led committee noted that a multi-agency team was put in place to oversee the programme but it did not provide a report on areas of coverage.
The report says millers manufactured the sifted maize and supplied it to wholesalers who supplied it to value chains.
"It was, however, not their responsibility to find out where the flour was sold and if it got to the consumers at the required retail price of Sh100,” the report explains.
The committee recommended Sh500 million owed to members of the Grain Millers Owners Association should be factored in the Budget Estimates for 2023/2024 Financial Year and paid because their computations were clear.
The Ministry of Agriculture was asked to come up with a policy on how to engage in future subsidy programmes within three months of the adoption of the report.
The figures of the maize supplied in the programme was provided by the ministry of Agriculture, Cereal Millers Association and Grain Mill Owners Association.
The committee said it established that the total amount spent on the Maize Flour Subsidy Programme was Sh7.26 billion.
"However, CMA informed the committee that the total amount for the programme was Sh6.6 billion while GMOA stated that the total amount was Sh6.4 billion,” the report added.
In mid 2022, flour prices skyrocketed to a record high of Sh210 for 2kg packet.
Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta introduced the short term Maize Flour Subsidy Programme between July 21 to August 17, 2022.
Under the programme consumers were to purchase a 2kg packet of sifted maize flour at Sh100 instead of Sh210 in an effort to make the commodity affordable to most Kenyans.
The report of the committee notes that in the Kenyan model, farmers enjoy a double subsidy.
"Ideally, the government should intervene on either supply side or demand side but not both," the report notes.
It explained that the government can intervene to keep costs of production low or allow producers sell at market prices and subsidise cost for consumers.