Unga is now Ksh.90 – CS Bett


maize

Consumers can now breathe a sigh of relief after the government announced a drop in the prices of maize flour, milk and other basic commodities in a bid to cut the soaring prices of basic commodities.

Speaking to the media in Nairobi, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said that starting tomorrow, a 2kg packet of maize flour will retail at Sh90 while a 1kg packet will go for Ksh.47.

In addition, Bett said that the government has set aside 6 billion shillings for the subsidy programme to ensure millers access the maize.

“To cushion the farmers further, the millers will now access a 90kg bag at 2300 shillings” said Bett.

The Agriculture CS was however keen to note that the window of importation of maize was only open up to 31st July 2017.

Bett further noted that this will continue until product stabilizes and production normalizes.

This comes just a day after the government sought to defend itself against claims that it imported yellow maize in a bid to bring down maize prices in the country.

Speaking at the port of Mombasa where the maize was being offloaded, Transport Principal Secretary Paul Mwangi sought to assure the country that already two thirds of the maize received had already been dispatched with more to come in coming days.

The total consignment which is worth about three billion shillings expected to bring down runaway maize prices.

The first consignment, 29,900 tons of maize was received in Mombasa last Thursday just days after the Kenya Revenue Authority published a notice allowing duty-free importation of maize into the country.

Transport Principal Secretary Paul Mwangi was at pains to explain that while the maize was originally from Mexico, it was part of a larger consignment that had earlier been transported to Durban, South Africa and remained there until Kenya placed its order.

Earlier on, the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture had raised tough questions over the expediency of the emergency maize imports.

The Committee claimed the speed with which the maize arrived in Kenya suggests local shortage may have been artificially created to enable cartels profit from the importation.

Committee members; Opiyo Wandayi, Mary Wambui and Florence Mutua demanded to know the procurement plan claiming a shadowy deal might have occasioned the crisis in the country for political fund raising.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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