Kenya to buy maize from Tanzania

By Ruth Mutegi

The first batch of the maize is expected in the country next week

Kenya has reached a deal with Tanzania to buy 200,000 tonnes of maize from the neighboring country at a price of shillings 2,650 per 90 kg bag.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei says the government opted to buy the maize to ensure that Kenya does not plunge into a food crisis before the next harvest season.

The ministry of Agriculture had since the beginning of the year hinted that there could be a shortage of maize before the next harvest season due to a poor harvest last year.

While details were scanty about where Kenya would get the deficit from, it is now clear that the country will be turning to her neighbor Tanzania.

The first installment of the maize is expected in the country as early as next week, right before the maize harvesting starts in the North Rift.

Although maize prices in the country have in recent weeks sharply risen to about 3,200 shillings per bag, the grain from Tanzania is expected to bring prices down to about 2,800 shillings per bag.

The ball has now been thrown to millers across the country as consumers’ only hope is that the low prices in maize will translate to lower prices in flour which is currently trading at 60 shillings a kg.

The procurement of the maize and its transportation will be done through the private sector in both Kenya and Tanzania.