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Treasury clears duty-free yellow maize import to cut flour price

The Treasury has cleared the importation of duty-free yellow maize for use in manufacturing of animal feeds to ease pressure on white maize and curb the soaring price of flour.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett Wednesday told the Business Daily the ministry had finalised with the Treasury a plan for the importation and expects to publish the guidelines and gazette the names of millers who will import by Friday.

Mr Bett said millers who want to import are now required to apply for the relevant documents at the Treasury to allow them bring in the maize under the duty-free scheme.

“We have finalised everything on importation and we should be gazetting the names by Friday so that the maize can be imported as soon as possible to curb further increase of price of flour,” said Mr Bett Wednesday.

He said the importers will have to adhere to the set guidelines that include importing maize that has the accepted moisture content (normally 13.5 per cent) and non-GMO grain.

READ: Cofek seeks flour subsidy as price hits Sh130 on shortage

Five million tonnes

Millers will be allowed to import five million tonnes, probably from Ukraine, to be used exclusively in manufacturing of animal feeds.

Shortage of maize in the market has intensified competition between manufacturing of flour for human use and processing of animal feeds.

Millers normally use white maize in making of animal feeds, hence eating substantially into the available stocks meant for human consumption.

A food situation report from the Ministry of Agriculture shows that two per cent of total maize harvested is used in animal feed manufacturing while another one per cent is retained as seeds.

The shortage of the staple has pushed the price of a 90 kilogramme bag of maize to Sh4,200 from Sh3,700 last month.

READ: Consumers to pay more as maize hits Sh4,200 per bag

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