NAIROBI, Kenya, May 12 – Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett says the importation of maize is a crucial step in reducing the price of the basic commodity.
Speaking after receiving the first consignment of 30,000 metric tonnes of the commodity at the Port of Mombasa Friday, Bett explained that this will ensure that no Kenyan is affected.
He stated that the government is still seeking ways of reducing the prices of basic commodities.
“I am happy to say that the awaited maize which we have imported which is supposed to stabilise our prices in the country is here,” he said.
“According to the forces of demand and supply, what we will see from here is a situation where the prices will now have to come down because the supply will have been beefed up in the country,” he stated.
He indicated that the imports will enable the prices of maize flour to be stabilised.
“I would want to say that as government, we have worked with the millers such that this situation is handled in a manner so that the net beneficiary of all this is the consumer,” he explained.
He observed that the interests of farmers should also be taken into consideration so that they are not disadvantaged.
“As a country again, it is a delicate balancing act because we know that the farming community should also not be hurt at the end of the day. So we are doing it in a very delicate manner,” he said.
The maize imported from Mexico is intended to address biting shortage of maize flour that is being felt across the country due to shortage of maize.
This has led to sharp increase in the prices.
It is anticipated that the maize, imported duty free, will ease the retail prices of maize flour to below Sh115 for a two-kilo packet from the current Sh160.