Framers in the Rift valley region have expressed their anger after the government said they are importing 12.5 million bags of maize.
The government is set to allow the importation of up to 12.5 million bags of maize as a measure to tame the rising cost of Ugali, considered a staple food in most households in the country.
Speaking to the Senate Committee on Agriculture on Wednesday, Dr Andrew Tuimur, the Chief Administrative Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, said that the imports are scheduled to start at the end of this month and will continue till the end of October when the next harvest is expected to start.
“We expect the importation of bags of maize to start at the end of this month. As we speak, the country has enough maize stock to last us a month,” Dr Tuimur to the committee.
“Maize is a key and a sensitive crop. I assure the country that we currently have enough maize to last us to the end of July. But we are allowing importation to see us through the period of August to November,” he added.
The current shortfall has seen the cost of maize flour shoot up to Sh125 for a 2kg pack. The government hopes that the importation will lead to a significant drop in the runaway cost of the essential commodity and thus ease the cost of living.
In 2017, the government through the treasury zero rated the importation of bags of maize to help bring down the cost from a staggering Sh153 per bag to Sh115.
The government hopes the importation of 12.5 million bags will have a similar impact.