Sh90 maize flour of­fer ex­tended to De­cem­ber

Bett says ter­mi­na­tion of sub­sidy would have sub­jected con­sumers to abrupt rise in price of sta­ple

Business Daily (Kenya) - - ECONOMY & POLITICS - Ger­ald An­dae gan­­tion­

The Sh90-a-packet sub­sidised maize flour has been ex­tended to the end of the year af­ter the gov­ern­ment agreed to re­lease more grains to millers, cush­ion­ing con­sumers from a sharp rise in the sta­ple food.

Agri­cul­ture Cabi­net sec­re­tary Willy Bett said yes­ter­day the sub­sidy, which was to end last month had been ex­tended.

He said millers had been given ac­cess about 1.7 mil­lion bags of sub­sidised maize. “We’ve agreed that the sub­sidy pro­gramme will of­fi­cially come to an end on De­cem­ber 31,” said Mr Bett.

The min­is­ter said the de­ci­sion to ex­tend the sub­sidy was in­formed by the fact that the prices of flour would have shot up to lev­els be­yond the cur­rent low of Sh90 for a two-kilo packet should the pro­gramme have been ter­mi­nated.

The min­istry says grains from the farms have hardly been com­ing to the mar­ket due to on­go­ing rains that have co­in­cided with the har­vest­ing of the main crop in Kenya’s bread­bas­ket of the North Rift.

“By now we should be at the peak of pur­chas­ing maize from farm­ers but the on­go­ing rains have af­fected the pur­chase of the pro­duce from grow­ers,” he said.

Na­tional Ce­re­als and Pro­duce Board, which hosts the food re­serve, has so far bought 284,000 bags of maize from farm­ers against a tar­get of 2.4 mil­lion.

Millers were ex­pect­ing to buy maize at an av­er­age mar­ket cost of Sh3,400 a 90-kg bag, forc­ing them to in­crease flour prices to Sh120 per two-kilo packet.

This looks to put pres­sure on in­fla­tion, which fell to 5.72 per cent last month, from 7.06 per cent in Septem­ber, pushed by a fall in some food prices.


FOOD Cus­tomers queue to buy Sh90 maize lour at a Ny­eri su­per­mar­ket in June.

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