The Agriculture Ministry has allowed animal feed manufacturers to import 350,000 tonnes of yellow maize duty-free for a period of one year to address high prices.
In a meeting with the Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi said the State would open the window to ease pressure on white maize.
“The government will waive duty on yellow maize imports for animal feed manufacturing for a period of one year,” said Mr Linturi.
The directive comes two months after the window on importation of duty-free yellow maize was closed.
As a long-term solution, Mr Linturi encouraged the feed manufacturers to support a contract farming system for the local production of raw materials used for feed production to lower the cost of feeds and cut expensive imports.
The directive comes days after the ministry said it would allow white imports of maize to ease the shortage that has resulted in high prices of flour.
Millers who shipped in the yellow maize between June and September got stuck with the product after they failed to secure market due to the high price needed to recover the cost.
Large-scale millers had imported yellow maize for their own use and for sale to small-scale feed manufacturers who did not have the financial muscle to import.
However, the processors were unable to sell since a 90-kilogram bag of yellow maize was going for Sh5,600 and then against Sh5,300 for the white type.
Joseph Karuri, the chairman of the Akefema, says the prices on the global market have eased and they are likely to get the product at a fairer price.
“The prices of yellow maize are now stabilising and we are expecting to procure it at a good price that will see the cost of feeds come down by February next year,” said Mr Karuri.
The price of a 70-kilogramme bag of layers mash has increased to Sh4,500 from Sh3,800 in April while chick mash is going for Sh4,940 from Sh4,200 while dairy meal is at Sh2,850 from Sh2,500.