Ship docks in Mombasa with 48,000 tons of white maize

An MV Guardian ship off-loads tonnes of white maize to the Grain Bulk Handlers Limited silos soon after she docked at the port of Mombasa. [File, Standard]

A ship carrying 48,000 tons of white maize docked at the Port of Mombasa on Saturday, April 14.

This is in line with the government's latest effort to mitigate the cost of food in the country.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Corporate Affairs Manager Bernard Osero said the ship, MV Stellina docked at berth 5 to discharge the maize. Mr. Osero said the maize was ordered by various millers.

"I don't know if it is the same maize the government promised. The ship arrived from Mozambique and it is discharging at Grain Bulk Handling Limited (GBHL) terminal at berth 5," he said.

According to 'MarineTraffic', a maritime analytics provider that provides real-time information on the movements of ships, MV Stellina left the Port of Matola in Mozambique thirteen days ago.

The ship sailing under the flag of Malta docked in Mombasa on Saturday morning. "The importers are various maize millers," said Osero in an interview with The Standard.

President William Ruto on Friday promised that the cost of maize flour will come down from next week as maize starts to arrive in Mombasa. He said the second shipment will arrive next week.

The Head of State said the importation was a stop-gap measure as the government ramps up efforts to boost local production through the subsidy of farm inputs like fertilizer.

Farmers in the country's breadbasket received the subsidized fertilizer in March ahead of the ongoing maize plantation. Ruto said five million registered farmers have been receiving the fertilizer.

Speaking in Machakos on Friday after launching the Mavoko Water Project, the president said lowering maize flour prices is a major issue.

"By next week, you will begin seeing new prices in maize. The price of unga will go down and we have to ensure that the maize we are importing from other countries does not affect our farmers because they are the ones we depend on here in our country. I am aware the cost of living has risen but on this, we had agreed that Kenyans must purchase maize flour at better prices," Ruto noted.

This comes after Azimio leader, Raila Odinga insisted that the bipartisan talks between the Opposition and the Government would start after the price of food has gone down.

Other opposition leaders like Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna hailed the arrival of the maize import through his social media accounts saying: "better, much better."