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Maize flour supply improves after polls

Supermarkets last week complained of difficulties in getting supplies from the millers. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Supermarkets last week complained of difficulties in getting supplies from the millers. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Supply of maize flour in supermarkets has improved after the erratic provision witnessed last week, which millers say was occasioned by the October 26 election disruption.

A spot-check Monday showed most of the supermarkets had stocked different brands of flour unlike last week when they had limited stocks.
However, the number of bales was still lower compared with previous weeks.

Supermarkets last week complained of difficulties in getting supplies from the millers, saying their orders could not be met.

“The shortage witnessed last week was temporary, caused by election as suppliers were not able to distribute flour to various retail outlets,” said the Cereal Millers Association in a response to our queries.

Millers are still getting maize from the government under the subsidy programme expected to come to an end after the current government stock is exhausted.

Tuskys chief executive officer Daniel Githua said last week the stocks had been cleared by customers due to high demand ahead of the October 26 repeat presidential poll.

The subsidy programme came to an end last month, but millers are still milling the 1.1 million stocks of maize that docked in Mombasa last week.

Kenya in May started subsidising maize importers to help lower the cost of flour that had shot to a historic high in the aftermath of a prolonged drought.

Under the subsidy programme, importers sell maize to millers at Sh2,300 for a 90 kg bag after buying the produce at above Sh4,000, with the State settling the difference, a move that lowered the price of a two-kilogramme packet to Sh90.

The government will spend Sh7.1 billion to buy 2.4 million bags of maize to replenish stocks in the Strategic Grain Reserve this year.

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