Farmers to wait longer as Cabinet fails to discuss yellow maize imports


Imported yellow maize being offloaded at Mombasa port. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Cabinet failed to discuss the importation of yellow maize for animal feeds, delaying further the long-awaited relief for farmers grappling with the high cost of meals.

Processors were optimistic that feeds would be on the agenda when the Cabinet met last week, just a day after holding a meeting with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

The chairman of the Association of Kenya Animal Feed Manufacturers Joseph Karuri said they held a meeting with the DP on Monday who assured them the government would address the issue by allowing imports of yellow maize and other key raw material.

“We held a fruitful meeting with the Deputy President and he agreed to our concerns in allowing duty-free importation of yellow maize and other raw material. He assured us that the matter would be discussed in the cabinet,” said Mr Karuri.

A dispatch from the Cabinet on Tuesday did not list imports of yellow maize as one of the issues that were discussed.

This means that farmers will still have to grapple with the high cost of feed in the coming weeks until the matter is approved by the cabinet.

The cost of feed had dropped by Sh140 for a 70-kilo bag in February when the cost of maize declined to Sh4,400 for a 90-kilo bag.

However, the prices have gone back to where they were before as the cost of a 90-kilo bag of maize has gone up to Sh6,000.

The price of a 70-kilo bag of layers marsh is selling at Sh4,500 from Sh3,800 in April last year, chick mash is going for Sh4,940 from Sh4,200 while dairy meal is selling at Sh2,850 from Sh2,500.

Millers would be required to sign a memorandum of understanding with the government on the impact that the imports will have on prices in order to ensure that farmers get a reprieve from the high cost of animal feed.

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