Commodities

Millers ignoring wheat mop-up slapped with higher import charges

flour

Workers pack wheat flour ready for market. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Under the duty remission scheme millers are required to exhaust their quota before being allowed to import in the produce at 10 percent duty while those not taking part are parting with 35 percent import levy.
  • Millers want the government to stop fixing the price and instead subsidise farmers through inputs and let the buying price be determined by the market forces.

Wheat millers who are not taking part in a government programme that requires processors to mop up local produce before importing have been forced to pay higher duty to ship in the commodity.

Under the duty remission scheme, a programme that has now been moved to Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), millers are required to exhaust their quota before being allowed to import in the produce at 10 percent duty while those not taking part are parting with 35 percent import levy.

“The government okayed a 10 percent duty for millers taking part on the remission scheme after completing purchasing of their allocated quantities while those who are not in the programme have to pay 35 percent duty,” said Leonard Kubok, head of the Food Crops Directorate at AFA.

Mr Kubok said in the just concluded harvesting season in Narok, the government and millers agreed that the processors pay farmers Sh3,250 for grade one, Sh3,150 for grade two and Sh3,000 for grade three wheat.

The same has been replicated in Nakuru and Eldoret where the harvesting is ongoing.

Uasin Gishu County executive committee member for agriculture Samuel Yego however said that millers have come up with arrangements that see them pay farmers less money as they impose a lot conditions.

Mr Yego urged the government to reinstate the duty to 35 percent and promote local farming of the commodity to cut over-reliance on imports.

Millers want the government to stop fixing the price and instead subsidise farmers through inputs and let the buying price be determined by the market forces.