Govt. changes subsidized unga tact with search for posho mill owners
The government has changed tack in its efforts to deliver affordable maize flour to the masses, by looking to enlist the services of privately run small-scale millers popularly known as posho mills.
The move comes barely two months after the government subsidized the sale of maize flour through large millers but the exercise appears to not have had the desired effect the state was hoping for.
Hoarding, shortage and sale of unga above the prescribed price of Sh90 per two kilogram bag have now seen the ministry of agriculture seek a more direct approach of delivery flour.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said on Tuesday that several such mills had been posho mills identified in Nairobi with the ministry calling on other mill owners to process subsidized maize.
“We have so far identified 40 posho mills in Nairobi and we are doing this so that we can have informal settlements sorted out at their residential areas in terms of unga requirements,” reiterated Mr. Bett.
Slightly over two months ago, the government moved with speed to reduce the price of skyrocketing maize flour to Sh90 for a two kilo pack, in a bid to cushion consumers.
And with the import window open for duty free maize, established millers have taken a large share of the imported maize.
But with the subsidized maize flour becoming elusive as it misses on most shelves, posho mill owners will be key in enhancing distribution of subsidized unga.
The CS confirmed that this is a countrywide project saying, “We are doing the same in far-flung areas like Samburu and Turkana, already the posho mills in those areas have been handled, so we will be moving in that area especially in areas where the packaged unga is a challenge to reach.”
The country has imported over two million bags of maize, since the import duty on white maize was scrapped.
The inclusion of posho millers is expected to ensure fair distribution of this important commodity countrywide.
The government has no particular target for the number of posho mills to be incorporated but will distribute the subsidized maize depending on each millers’ capacity.
The millers will be required to sell the subsidized maize flour at Sh35 per kilo to consumers.
Additional reporting by Sophie Kinoti
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