Kenyan millers have decried that the latest interventions by the government will only reduce the price of maize flour by Sh2 for a 2kg packet.
Maize flour prices drop by Sh2 after CS Munya's interventions
Millers say the directives issued by CS Peter Munya are not significant in bringing down the cost of flour by a big margin
Under their umbrella body, United Grain Millers Association (UGMA), they said Agriculture CS Peter Munya’s directives would have little impact on the cost of maize flour.
“The move is so insignificant, we need a serious government intervention on making the maize available in order to cut down significantly on the cost of flour,” UGMA chairman Ken Nyaga said.
Currently the price of maize flour has crossed Sh210, piling pressure on Kenyan households which struggle to afford food everyday.
The Cabinet Secretary had announced on Tuesday that the government had suspended the KEBS levy, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) levy, AFRA levy, Port Health Service levy, KRA levy, Railway Development levy, and Importation Declaration Fund levy.
Millers were also granted permission to import maize without paying tax duty for the next 90 days in order to help bring down the cost of maize flour.
“The government is looking into ways and means of addressing the cost of unga to bring it down so that consumers can afford it,” CS Munya said after inspecting the importation of maize from Tanzania at the Namanga Border Post.
“That is a decision that has been arrived after lengthy discussions with all the government agencies that operate from our borders,” he added.
He warned that any miller hoarding maize to create an artificial shortage would suffer losses after the cheap maize is imported into the country.
“We are also asking those who are holding maize… because we know that they are individuals who are holding maize…when this cheap maize comes don’t complain that the prices have gone down,” he cautioned.
Tanzanian authorities are reported to have increased the cost of acquiring export permits by traders from Sh27,000 per truck to Sh52,000.
The move caused a huge snarl-up of trucks at the Namanga border over the last one week as traders and truckers were caught off-guard by the new requirement.
The new measures are now expected to fast-track the clearance of trucks at the border point.
“In addition to that, we are also looking for other ways and means of actually bringing in maize. We will not entirely rely on private citizens,” Munya added.
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