Will the burden of spending heavily on maize flour ever end?

Will the burden of spending heavily on maize flour ever end?

It is this Tuesday that ministry of agriculture will be keen to hold a meeting with maize millers with an attempt to curb the rising cost of maize flour. Among the agenda to be discussed, modalities of releasing cheap maize from the Strategic Food Reserve (SFR) will come first.

Last year, Kenyan economy expanded by 6.3% thanks to high growth in agriculture.This year the rainfall patterns up to now have proved to be a misfit. This has crippled the production of maize bringing forth an eruption in the prices of maize flour.It’s devastating enough, that the price of a 2kg packet of maize flour goes at a steady ksh120. Is this really affordable for the common mwananchi?.

Chairpersons from different milling associations have been invited for a consultative meeting with Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri this Tuesday. Together with the chairpersons, Secretaries from different associations including,Cereal Millers Association, United Grain millers, Nakuru Small and Medium Scale Association and Meru County Millers Association,wont be left behind.The letter written by Agriculture Principal Secretary Hamadi Boga adequately mirrors this.

“Due to the escalating maize prices and the subsequent high maize flour prices being experienced in the country, the government intends to release part of the strategic maize reserves into the market to stabilise grain supply and food prices,” the letter written by Prof Boga captures this.

It won’t be the first time the Millers will meet with Agriculture Cabinet Secretary this year. On April 17th they met and the government assured the Millers that they’ll release two million bags of grade three and four to them.
However, this move wasn’t received warmly as processors said the grades are not suitable for milling.

And now the big question remains to be? Will an amiable agreement be reached? Or will Kenyans continue to spend heavy on maize flour. Let’s wait and see.

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Martin Olage

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