MM Maize Flour offloaded. PHOTO | FILE

The Maize subsidy program ends this year and we are going to see the price of Unga going up again. The government has not taken any extra measures after the subsidy.

The millers are expected to reap back after a long string of subsidy which has rendered small millers get some looses. The Ksh 90 Unga will be over by 1st January 2018.

Agriculture PS Richard Lesiyampe yesterday said the subsidy programme was extended until December to ensure there is enough maize in the Strategic Grain Reserve, and this has so far been achieved.

He said the National Cereals and Produce Board bought about a million bags of maize from the farmers at the cost of Sh3,200 per 90kg bag. In October, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the government will set aside Sh6 billion to buy maize from farmers at the cost of Sh3,200.

Lesiyampe, however, said with the end of the subsidy, the price of a two-kg packet of maize flour is likely to go up, “but the price should be very marginal,” he said. Experts from the maize sector have anticipated that once the subsidy programme is over, the price of a 2kg packet of maize flour is likely to increase from Sh90 to between Sh120 to Sh130.

Titus Maiyo, the NCPB spokesperson, said delivery of maize to the depots has picked up in the recent past. “We have so far been able to buy 945,000 bags of 90kg from the farmers, and with the reduction of the short rains in the last few weeks, farmers have increased deliveries to the depots,” Maiyo said. Anthony Kioko, the Cereal Growers Association CEO, said the government and the private sector should ensure in the future the country has sufficient food sourced locally, not from imports.

The Government through the Agriculture CS Willy Bett has said that the food available will not sustain the country for a whole year. This comes after a series of armyworms affected most parts of the country.

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