More maize bags arrive in two weeks

Business Daily Kenya:  More than 100,000 tonnes are expected in the country before the end of this month. Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Wil...

Business Daily Kenya: 

MV IVS Pinehurst which docked at the Mombasa Port recently off-loads maize imported from South Africa. As at the end of April, the strategic grain reserve had only 457,000 maize bags. Photo/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

More than 100,000 tonnes are expected in the country before the end of this month. Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett assured Kenyans yesterday that the supply of maize flour will normalise in two weeks as three ships carrying white maize are expected at the Mombasa port in the next two weeks.

“This issue of unga being delivered into supermarkets in the morning and getting finished by evening will be a thing of the past,” he said during the opening of an agriculture conference in Nairobi.

He added that consumers in the rural areas will also be covered adequately with the many vessels docking at Mombasa port. Speaking on phone, Agriculture Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe confirmed that in the next two or so weeks 144,000 tonnes will be received to increase supply so that maize flour can be accessible to consumers.

Investigations by People Daily revealed that farmers have started selling maize they have been hoarding to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB). “The board was able to buy 12,000 bags of maize from farmers by early this week,” a source well versed with events at the board confirmed.

The April Food Status report indicated that farmers were holding 4.5 million bags of white maize by then. Operators of Posho mills in Kericho County are buying maize at Sh4,000 per 90 kg bag in Londiani.

“I have been buying maize from farmers 70 km away in Londiani at Sh4,000 a bag. This is expensive to us as sometimes the supply is not sufficient thus leading to shortage of Unga,” said Peter Kimetto, a posho mill operator.

Lesiyampe stressed that supplies in the market are also set to improve as some regions have started harvesting green maize. For example, in South Rift, Western and Nyanza region, farmers are harvesting green maize and selling to hawkers who do roasting business in estates and other urban centres.

In the maize production cycle, the country receives first harvest from South Rift by mid-July and early August. Some agriculture experts have, however, cast doubts over the same, saying harvests were likely to be delayed by several weeks as a number of farmers planted late owing to the delay of long rains leave its depressed nature in parts of the country.

The post More maize bags arrive in two weeks appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.

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