Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has asked farmers to sell their maize now before the arrival of imported grains, which will disrupt the current market prices.
Speaking when he opened the Eldoret National Agricultural Society of Kenya Show on March 3, 2023, the Deputy President said it is the responsibility of the government to prioritise and protect the interest of the farmers first.
“We have decided to import maize to plug in the deficit. Imported maize will reduce the cost of maize. I urge you to release maize into the market. Release the main in your stores to enjoy the current favourable prices,” he said.
The DP said that imported maize will be tax-free, therefore, cheaper. This will cause losses to farmers yet they have toiled, he added.
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He further explained that importation is important in bringing down the cost of living before government measures like fertiliser subsidy bear fruit, adding that that in a few months the price of a 2kg bag of maize meal will drop from the current Sh180 to Sh130 and below.
Faced with a challange of high food prices, the government has opened a window for the importation of at least 10 million bags of maize starting this month.
The importation window which will run up to August just in time for the harvest season in the north rift food basket is expected to ease the runaway cost of flour that has remained high for the last couple of months with a two-kilo packet hitting Sh200.