NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 15 – The Ministry of Agriculture has affirmed that the offloading of the remaining subsidised maize in three ships at the Port of Mombasa is ongoing.
The three ships carrying the last batch of 1.1 million bags of subsidised maize docked at Mombasa port before the October 26 repeat presidential poll and flour from the grain was expected to land in shop shelves in the second week of November.
Offloading of the subsidised maize has been delayed, with millers raising concerns that they are not getting enough of the subsidized product in what has reduced supply of flour in the market.
“This will address the current shortage of supplies resulting from the fact that a huge consignment of maize is stuck at the port waiting to be offloaded,” stated Bett.
The program was extended beyond September because of ongoing heavy rains that have hampered maize harvest in the main breadbasket areas of the North Rift.
“We are not getting enough stocks currently at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) as we had anticipated as the purchases have been slowed down by rains,” he said.
The NCPB had by Monday last week purchased 150,000 bags of maize out of 2.4 million bags that it targets to replenish the strategic food reserve almost a month since it opened its silos.
The Treasury ended the maize import subsidy, which started on May 16, in mid-October.
The country requires an average 36-40 million bags of maize annually to satisfy demand, estimates by the Agriculture Ministry showed.