Why Kenyan Ugali lovers have a reason to worry

Most of the country’s millers are yet to pass on to consumers the benefits that should have resulted in a direct reduction of prices.

Kenya's popular dish of Ugali, beef and sukumawiki.

Despite a tax relief announced by the government through Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich during last month’s budget reading, most of the country’s millers are yet to pass on to consumers the benefits that should have resulted in a direct reduction of prices.

In his budget statement, Treasury CS Henry Rotich announced that the government would allow duty free import of maize for four months to further drop the price of maize flour.

The Treasury CS and his Agriculture counterpart Willy Bett promised Kenyans that the prices of a two-kilogramme maize flour would go down to Sh115 from the current record high of over Sh150.

Price reduction short-lived

Even if the government directive is to be followed, the millers have warned that the reduction of maize flour prices in Kenya will be short-lived as it will only last for less than two weeks.

According to the Cereal Millers Association (CMA) there would be need to increase the amount of subsidized maize available for the price effect to be realized by consumers.

The millers said that the 450,000 bags of maize allocated to them would only offer a short term relief from the high maize flour prices.

The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) said millers had only purchased 203,000 bags as of the start of this week out of an expected million that the government released to supplement the available stocks in the market to reign in on sky rocketing maize flour prices

The high prices of maize, which is the main product for country’s staple food, pushed inflation to 10.28 per cent in March up from 9.04 in February.

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