Kenyans should brace for a hike in the price of maize flour as millers accuse farmers of hoarding maize leading to shortage of the produce.
Addressing the press in Nairobi on Monday, United Trade Millers Association vice chairman Ken Nyaga divulged that the price of maize flour is set to rise from KSh75 to KSh100 per 2kg bag.
Mr. Nyaga attributed the projected price hike to refusal by farmers to sell their maize since the government promised to buy the produce at a higher price of KSh3,000 per 90 kgs bag.
“It is the high time the government came up with proper ways to streamline the maize industry. We are between a rock and a hard place. There is no maize available from the farmers we cannot sustain the current market of Ksh.75 per 2kg packet,” said Mr. Nyaga.
He added: “The farmers are refusing to sell their maize because the government promised to buy the maize at Ksh. 3,000 per 90kgs bag. So they do not want to sell a 90kg bag at Ksh.2,300.”
Farmers will now sell a 90kg bag of maize at a more profitable price of KSh3,000 up from the previous Ksh2,300. Deputy President William Ruto said that the new prices will be subject to a progressive review each year.
He said the government will further reduce the cost of farming for farmers.
“We want to ensure that farmers make reasonable profits from their produce so that they can be able to reproduce again next year,” he said.
The DP said that the price was reached at after consultations between the ministry of Agriculture and a committee that was tasked to evaluate the prices.
“We want to make sure that we work on the forces of supply and demand to make sure that we don’t end up penalizing the farmers or the consumers,” Ruto said.
The DP was speaking at the Kitale Agriculture Society of Kenya (ASK) show in Trans Nzoia County. He at the same time instructed the Ministry of Agriculture to buy fertilizer from local manufacturers to promote local industries.
The Deputy President was accompanied by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett, Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba, Senator Henry Ndiema and Women Representative Janet Nangabo Wanyama.
Ruto also said that the Government has spent KSh20 billion on subsidized fertilizer.