The CMA said it is confident that the proposed immediate measures will protect Kenyan consumers from higher food prices.
Kenyans will soon dig deeper into their pockets to pay for maize flour after the Cereal Millers Association (CMA) sounded an alarm of a possible increase in maize flour prices due to lack of coordination and communication between relevant government and regulatory agencies.
According to CMA, this poor coordination has resulted in uncertainties with regard to the recent ban on maize imports from Uganda and Tanzania.
“The CMA welcomes the ban on maize that contains aflatoxin levels above the 10 parts per billion (ppb) thresholds but is requesting the government to allow maize that does not breach this level be allowed to avoid a grain shortage,” the association said on Monday.
CMA averred that Kenya consumes an average of 3 million 90kg bags per month and some of this maize must be imported due to differences in harvesting periods in various counties.
Its members, who account for over 40 percent of processed flour, are reported to be holding stocks of around 1.5 million bags and are concerned that at present there are no significant stocks to ensure unrestricted supply of maize flour.
The Association pleaded with the government that quality maize which is held by traders and farmers within the three borders be made immediately available to millers to ensure that supply of maize flour is not impeded during this period.
They submitted that in Nairobi, the prices of raw grain have moved to Sh2, 800 from Sh2, 500. Consequently, the Association said that the price of a maize flour bale has increased to Sh1, 250 with room for a further price increment should the situation not be resolved immediately.
“In the interim destination inspection should be performed so that clean maize can be cleared. If required KEBS, AFA and accredited laboratories should test for Aflatoxins at the border point to avoid further delays,” CMA said.
Temporarily lift the requirement for Certificates of Conformity until the processes are seamless and ensure that porous border points are manned.
The CMA said it is confident that the proposed immediate measures will protect Kenyan consumers from higher food prices. They added that as an association, they are open to further consultations that will benefit all the stakeholders.