Commodities

Shops revert to selling maize flour at Sh200 as subsidy ends

flour\

Packets of maize flour at a Nyeri supermarket on March 16, 2022. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG

Some of the retail shops have reverted to selling maize flour at Sh200 per 2-kilogramme packet as the subsidy programme comes to an end amid a shortage of the commodity on the shelves.

There were reports that the subsidy programme had come to an end over the weekend. However, the Ministry of Agriculture denied the reports.

Millers have confirmed that they will be milling their last batch of maize flour under the subsidy programme this week on varying dates depending on when the agreement was signed.

The office of the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture has already informed individual millers on when their subsidy will be ending.

“This is to remind you that your contract for the sifted maize flour subsidy programme 2022 lapses on Thursday, August 18, 2022,” a communication seen by the Business Daily to one of the millers reads.

Atin Aggarwal, chief executive of Trident Millers said the price of flour is set to rebound to Sh205 as the subsidy programme ends.

“We expect the price to drop marginally from the original price of Sh210 before subsidy to Sh205 because the cost of maize has declined marginally,” said Mr Aggarwal.

The price of maize has dropped to Sh5,700 for a 90-kilo bag in the recent days following the onset of harvesting in some parts of the south rift.

“Today (yesterday) is the last day of our milling the subsidy flour,” said Rajan Shah, chief executive officer of Capwell Industries –the processor of Soko flour brand.

The government has already informed millers that it will not be processing more payments under the subsidy programme, implying that there are no intentions for an extension.

President Uhuru Kenyatta had last month announced that the Sh100 flour would run indefinitely, however, the agreement between millers and the Ministry of Agriculture indicated that the scheme would end after one month.

The subsidy programme was started to ease the price of flour that had shot to a historic high of Sh210 on the back of a shortage of maize in the country.

Millers had warned Kenyans to brace for a severe shortage in the coming days as they scale down on production over the uncertainty brought about by the coming in power of the new government.

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