Gov’t releases two million bags of maize to millers

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The government has released two million bags of maize from the strategic food reserve to millers in a bid to plug a shortage of the produce that has seen flour prices increase in recent weeks.

The Ministry of Agriculture says maize for human consumption would be sold at 2,300 shillings per bag while produce for animal feed will retail at 1,400 shillings per bag.

Currently a 2kg packet of maize flour is retailing at an average of 120 shillings which is a 40 shillings increase from February this year.

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To cushion consumers from the rising maize flour prices the government agreed to release 3 million bags of maize from the strategic food reserve to millers.

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However, only millers who have submitted requisite documents to the Ministry of Agriculture will be allowed to purchase the maize with posho mills interested in buying the subsidized maize advised to get introductory letters from their area chiefs forwarded by the deputy county commissioner.

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The injection of additional maize into the market is expected to reduce the retail price of maize flour.

However, acting National Cereals and Produce Board Managing Director Zakary Magara says the release of two million maize bags might not be enough to tame the current shortage immediately but will help in stabilizing the market.

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The release of the maize from the National Cereals and Produce Board depots is expected to free up additional space for registered farmers to sell their produce to the facility once the government removes the 400 bags of maize limit per farmer as a way of enticing farmers who were holding on to maize stocks waiting for better prices.

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