Two million bags of maize released to millers

Caleb Amisi(Left) MP Saboti with Chairman of The Strategic Food Reserve Fund Noah Wekesa(Right) says there is enough maize in the Country during a press briefing at the Panafric Hotel [Photo: Standard]
The national government has released to the market two million bags to help scale down the rising cost of maize flour.

Consequently, the State has suspended plans to allow importation of maize, citing a steady supply of the commodity in the market and the upcoming harvest.

Strategic Food Reserve Oversight Board chairman Noah Wekesa (right) announced yesterday the stock at the Food Strategic Reserve Trust Fund is available for purchase to millers at Sh2,700 per 90kg bag.

Addressing journalists in Kitale, Dr Wekesa said the maize stock will help subsidise the cost of maize flour which retails at between Sh120 and 160 per a two kilogram packet.

Wekesa noted the Board received update report on the sale of the two million bags which was released to the market in May.

The listed millers who bougt the grain paid money to the National Cereals and Produce Board.

Even as this happened, the chairman disclosed there was still a shortage of maize supplies in the country, a situation which has attracted cheap imports from Uganda and Tanzania as local farmers wait for the season's harvest.

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The country's food reserve, he said, is withholding 1, 521, 629 million bags of maize bought from the 2017/18 crop season and 417 million bags bought from the 2018/19 crop season. 

"There is shortage of maize across the country and the situation has lured imports from Tanzania and Uganda. We expect the millers to take the offer and ensure maize flour is affordable," said Wekesa.

He also said the harvest of maize was about to begin in some counties but because of the process of drying and packaging the produce will be in the market in two months.

Wekesa maintained government is not in a rush to import maize before exhausting the crop produced by local farmers.

"All these stories on importation is a creation of the media. The Government has no plans to import maize," he added. Wekesa said government is not rush to import maize before exhausting the crop produced by local farmers.

A spot check in Kitale shows huge consignments of maize imported from the neighbouring Uganda.

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