There is a huge world of difference between maize as a grain and maize flour.
For instance, you can exchange maize grain in the commodities market while you can’t exchange maize flour.
The current debate between NASA and Jubilee appears confusing because the two groups are talking about two different things. Jubilee is taking about the flour.NASA is talking about Maize.
To the chattering Nairobi middle class, subsidizing cost of flour is such a huge achievement by Jubilee to which something of a celebration is in the offing.
It is this middle class and its members in the elite press that thinks Jubilee has ‘won’ the maize ‘debate’ because it has subsidized maize flour.
Yet, maize is a completely different thing from flour.
Maize is what the rural poor folk exchange as fee for their children. Maize is medical fee. Maize pays debts. Maize is what millions of rural poor eat, in its many derivatives, not flour. Maize is what thousands of public schools in Kenya feed thousands of students, as flour or as a githeri or, in worst cases, as uji.
Maize is money. Maize is not just fortified flour.
NASA is talking about maize, not flour and Jubilee has not solved the maize crisis. Jubilee has only provided the middle class with fortified flour, perhaps, to shut them up.