Kenyans are now looking forward to starting to enjoy a reduced price of maize floor (Unga) as well as that of fertilizer, after President-elect Dr William Ruto promised to unveil new prices for the two basic commodities.
This comes amid a concern that the price of maize flour could worsen after Tanzania froze the issuance of new maize export permits to traders shipping the grain to Kenya.
“We have been unable to get maize from Tanzania since last week after the country stopped issuing export permits to traders with the cutting off of stocks from Tanzania expected to push up the cost of flour,” said Ken Nyaga, the chairperson of the United Grain Millers Association.
Speaking in Maua Stadium, Meru County, Dr Ruto also pledged to reform the agriculture industry once he is sworn into office on Tuesday, September 13, 2022.
“I have spoken to the representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and I will announce new fertilizer prices. We start the journey of reforming the agriculture sector next week so as to change the cost of living in Kenya,” said Dr Ruto.
The price of planting fertilizer in the current season hit a high of over Kes6,500 while CAN for top dressing was between Kes6,000 and Kes7,000 depending on the outlets while urea was going at over Kes7,000 per 50 kg bag.
According to the farmers, the fertilizers subsidy supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture in June was not accessed by the majority of growers, saying farmers were forced to grow their crops with insufficient inputs, a move that could compromise productivity at the end of the season later in the year.
In July, the outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta had announced stimulus measures which saw maize flour price reduced to Kes100 down from Kes225.
Unfortunately, the programme hit a snag a month later after suspension by the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya citing inadequate funds from the National Treasury to sustain it.
“Due to inadequate exchequer releases from the National Treasury, it has been decided that the Maize Flour Subsidy Program be suspended with immediate effect,” Mr Munya said.