Maize Prices Set To Rise As Tax Waiver On Imports Ends

By Jane Muia / Published October 3, 2022 | 11:05 am




KEY POINTS

A 90 kg bag of maize is currently retailing at between 5,400 shillings and 5,600 shillings which is a drop from around 6,000 shillings. The drop was attributed to good supply from farmers who had finalized harvesting as well as imports from Zambia and Tanzania.


maize imports

Maize prices are likely to rise following the lapse of a waiver on fees on imported maize. The 90- day waiver was introduced in July by the outgoing agriculture cabinet secretary Peter Munya intending to control maize prices and cushion consumers from the high cost of the commodity which surged to a high of 6,000 shillings per 90 kg bag.

In an internal memo, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (Kephis) managing director Theophilus Mutui notified deputy directors within the organization to resume charges on maize and animal feeds effectively October 1.

“The gazette notice No.7499 directive for waiver of fees and charges for maize with effect from July 1 to September 30 refers. Please note that the waiver period will lapse on September 30. You are hereby advised to resume charges for maize and animal feeds from October 1,” Mutui said.

The resumption of charges will force millers to hike the price of maize and its products in a move to tame losses. This is the country expects a poor harvest as a result of depressed rains which have immensely affected agricultural production.

A 90 kg bag of maize is currently retailing at between 5,400 shillings and 5,600 shillings which is a drop from around 6,000 shillings. The drop was attributed to good supply from farmers who had finalized harvesting as well as imports from Zambia and Tanzania.

Consumers were hopeful that the price fall would also be reflected in maize flour which has for the first time surpassed the 200 shillings mark. However, maize flour prices have remained above 200 shillings with the cheapest brands selling at 189 shillings for a 2kg bag in various supermarkets.

The government introduced a 4-week subsidy on sifted maize flour intending to cut maize flour to 100 shillings. This was however unsuccessful as the subsidized flour remained widely unavailable in supermarkets.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data indicate that maize flour prices contributed to the largest rise in the inflation rate from 8.5 percent in August to 9.2 percent in September.

Related Content: Yellow Maize Importers Face Losses As Prices Of Local White Grain Drop






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