The government is in the process of finalizing a deal that would allow millers and traders to import maize in a bid to control maize prices from shooting.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri told the press that the country has already exhausted its stocks and has urged treasury and other relevant government agencies to expedite approvals in-order to avert an impending crisis.
“The government has no responsibility of buying the maize. It is the traders and millers who should do that by opening the window. Let them come to market, sell to posho mills and millers.” said Kiunjuri.
In doing this, the CS noted that due process will be followed to curb exploitation.
Kiunjuri stated that over 12 million bags will be imported as from July, a period he says the government has projected a shortfall of 4.3 million bags of maize.
“We require to import 10 million bags between now and December, that is white maize for human consumption, we are also required to import 2.5 million bags of maize to cushion dairy farmers,” the CS added.
The CS divulged that the shortage was expected as regional source markets had their production affected by recent drought.
Uganda and Zambia have been key areas where Kenya turns to reverse its maize deficit.
During the said period, Kenya will be targeting countries that produce non-genetically modified maize, with Mexico being a key producer.
The move is however subject to approval by relevant ministries.
The rise in prices has been attributed to the sharp rise of maize prices, where the price of a 90 kilogramme bag rose from Ksh2,000 last month to Ksh3,200.
Currently a 2Kg packet of flour retails at more than Ksh115.
“The zero-rating of VAT on transport, electricity and packaging materials is now effective and has to reflect in the price of flour,” Treasury CS Henry Rotich said days before the prices rose steadily.