Ruto dismisses maize shortage claims

Deputy President William Ruto has castigated claims by the Cereal Millers Association (CMA), that there is a shortage of maize in the country.

Ruto dismissed the claims, saying those saying so, plan to import maize and hike flour prices at the expense of the poor mwananchi.

CMA warned that the low level of maize supply could see maize flour prices increase, adding that low maize supply and expensive imports from neighboring countries, increased maize prices.

“There’s enough maize in stock and we will not allow importation of maize into the country in order to protect our farmers. We are encouraging tea farmers to explore value addition to make their produce marketable and reap maximum benefit,” Ruto said, during a ground breaking ceremony of Gatitu Tea Factory in Ngariama, Kirinyaga County.

According to Maize Millers, Kenya is already importing maize from the neighbouring Tanzania, making the price of flour to increase Sh110, from Sh90 per 2kg packet.

Millers are buying a 90 kilogram bag of maize at between Sh2,650 and Sh2,750 with prices rising, according to CMA.

The DP while speaking, Friday, emphasized that there is enough stock of maize in government cereal stores,  and further directed that one million bags, be released to the markets to mitigate the situation.

“The government will release one million bags of maize from the strategic grain reserve to mitigate any shortage of the commodity,” noted Ruto, who was accompanied by Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett.

Bett echoed Ruto’s sentiments, saying Kenyans will not be exploited as government watches.

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