-- Kenya will zero rate maize
imports to plug a huge deficit that has worsened food
insecurity in the country as the drought situation
escalates, officials said on Tuesday.
Secretary for Treasury Henry Rotich said the government
will extend tax rebates to manufacturers of maize flour
who import the cereal from neighboring countries that
have a surplus.
agreed on a raft of emergency measures to reduce the
price of maize flour to include zero rating imported
grains and inputs like energy and transport,” Rotich
told reporters in Nairobi.
the price of a 2 kilogram packet of maize flour could
reduce from 1.50 dollars to 1.05 dollars in the next few
days once tax exemptions on imported cereals are
are expected to lower price of maize flour because they
will incur less production cost,” said Rotich, adding
that the government had advertized open tenders for
importation of maize.
below the target of producing 7 million bags of maize in
the last season due to failed drains and invasion of
lethal pests and diseases on the crop.
Secretary for Agriculture Willy Bett said the country
only managed to produce three million bags of maize in
the breadbaskets of North Rift region due to vagaries of
prolonged drought has worsened maize shortage in the
country but zero rating imports will ensure the staple
food is available to Kenyans at a cheaper price,” said
He said the
ministry of agriculture will release 1 million bags of
maize this week from the strategic reserves to cushion
drought hit Kenyans from ravages of hunger and
the release of an extra one million bags of maize from
the national granaries will lead to a drop in the cost
of the commodity,” said Bett, adding that maize imports
will extend to July when bumper harvest is expected in
Kenya’s bread baskets.
disclosed the price of one bag of maize is expected to
drop from 45 to 30 dollars once the grains stored in
strategic reserves are released in the market.