Millers Complain Over Delayed Subsidized Unga Payments

By Jane Muia / Published August 11, 2022 | 2:48 pm




KEY POINTS

The 2017 payment delay has seen millers supply the most sought commodity in small amounts over fears of a similar incident that might dive them into losses.


Maize Flour

KEY TAKEAWAYS


The ministry says that under the program only 3. 2 million kilos of maize flour have been supplied to the supermarkets.


Some millers under the 100 shillings national maize flour subsidy program have raised concerns about their payments after cutting the price of a 2 kg packet of Unga by half as directed by the government.

Among those affected include the Mombasa maize millers- the manufacturer of ndovu maize flour. The firm has said that it has not received a single cent from the government despite the assurance that payments would be made on time, adding that following the government’s directive, a bag of Ndovu flour which was selling at 2,300 dropped to 1,100 shillings.

The firm now says that it is risking losses while calling upon the government to disburse the funds as pledged. Agriculture principal secretary Francis Owino last month said that the government has set aside 4 billion shillings for the millers’ payments to ensure there are no delays like that witnessed in 2017.

The 2017 payment delay has seen millers supply the most sought commodity in small amounts over fears of a similar incident that might dive them into losses. This has seen many supermarkets’ maize flour shelves run empty as residents scramble for the little amount supplied despite an assurance that supply normalcy would rebound.

Only a few brands of premium flours are present on most supermarket shelves. Crops Development and agricultural Research PS Francis Owino ordered retailers to cut down the time they take to pay millers from 45 days to at least two days in a fresh bid to ensure the commodity is highly accessible to the consumers.

However, millers still complain of delayed payments from supermarkets as several retailers are still using the 45-day credit period.

According to the ministry of agriculture, 129 millers gave a nod to the Ksh 100 per 2kg packet subsidy program and 160 million shillings have already been released to the millers for the program. The ministry says that under the program only 3. 2 million kilos of maize flour have been supplied to the supermarkets.






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