Kenya’s National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) is facing difficulties selling maize it imported under the subsidy programme that was meant to cushion consumers from high flour prices.
Millers are reluctant to buy the maize being sold at Sh2,300 per 90kg bag despite having been imported at Sh4,000.
The NCPB is holding 350,000 out of the 630,000 bags it released to millers last year at Sh2,300 before the end of the subsidy programme on December 31, 2017.,”
Mr. Titus Maiyo, NCPB’s corporate affairs manager dispelled fears that the grains which have been in their stores for about two years were unfit for human consumption.
The government of the country pumped in Sh6 billion to import maize to lower flour prices that had hit Sh153 for a 2kg bag before coming down to Sh90 following the intervention. But millers are reluctant to purchase maize from NCPB and are opting for cheap produce from Uganda going for as low as Sh1,200 per 90kg bag.
Dairy farmers are also benefiting from the fall in maize prices as they access cheaper dairy meal, which now retails at Sh1,500 down from Sh2,200 per 50kg.
Some of the middlemen in the cereals sector have been accused of importing maize in bulk from Uganda and delivering the produce to the NCPB stores immediately it opened its doors to buy the produce while the local farmers were still holding onto theirs.