The debate on maize has been ongoing for some time now causing frequent fluctuation of prices with the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary being called out for a number of decisions viewed as outrageous.
The CS has recently found himself on a tight spot having to explain why he feels importing maize at a time when the Country has enough is good for the citizens.
CS Kiunjuri is expected today, 17th July 2019, to appear before the Parliament to convince the members why he is pushing for maize importation when all indications show the Country has enough in stock.
CS Kiunjuri’s decision to import maize is being treated like a pinch of salt with a number of quarters accusing him of plans to enrich maize cartels for personal gains at the expense of maize farmers in the Country.
An estimated 50 millers have closed shop out of the 200 millers the Country has attributed their woes to the maize shortage. The shortage has seen bags of maize increase in prices which has, in turn, the price of processed products such as flour.
Maize is considered a staple in Kenyan households with the Country consumption currently at 1.5 and 1.7 million bags of maize in a month.
The MPs say the importation of maize is not justified and the impending shortage is fabricated to enable cartels to pocket the taxpayer’s money as data from the Strategic Grain Reserve shows the country can do without maize importation.
Adan Haji, the Committee chairman noted that the opening stock at the NCPB in May before the government had begun selling to millers was 4.2 million bags of maize and only 1.7 million bags were sanctioned to enable price reduction of maize flour in the Country.