Govt to allow 12M bags of maize to be imported


Govt to allow 12M bags of maize to be imported
File image of maize. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • Uganda and Zambia have been key areas where Kenya turns to reverse its maize deficit.
  • The move is however subject to approvals from other government ministries, even as Kiunjuri warns against those politicizing the process.
  • The country will once again be targeting countries that produce non-genetically modified maize, with Mexico being a key producer.

The government will now allow millers and traders to import twelve million bags of maize in a bid to cushion Kenyans against higher maize prices.

According to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, the country has already exhausted its stocks and has urged treasury and other relevant government agencies to expedite approvals in-order to avert a 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.

The CS further added that the government will however ensure regulations are followed to protect consumers from exploitation.

The government intends to allow over twelve million bags of the commodity as from July this year. By this time, 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,” reiterated the CS.

CS Kiunjuri said that this was after the government found itself between a rock and a hard place as regional source markets had their production affected by drought.

Uganda and Zambia have been key areas where Kenya turns to reverse its maize deficit.

The move is however subject to approvals from other government ministries, even as Kiunjuri warns against those politicizing the process.

The country will once again be targeting countries that produce non-genetically modified maize, with Mexico being a key producer.

In total Kenyans consume an average of three point five million bags of maize.

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Story By Dennis Otieno
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