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Economy

Agency fails to set maize price as harvest resumes

Maize harvesting
Maize harvesting. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Consultations for uniform producer price for this season’s maize harvests have failed, officials said, implying farmers must scout for best offers in the market.

Strategic Food Reserve (SFR), the unit of national granary which spearheaded the consultations, said after a meeting last week it still had to “settle some issues” before announcing the uniform price for the season.

“It is true we met but we need to clear some issues before we make the decision on both the price and the date,” said SFR oversight committee chairman Noah Wekesa.

Farmers have stepped up harvesting, especially in Trans-Nzoia and Uasin Gishu counties in the last five days.

Heavy rains pounding the region had stopped harvests.

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The SFR is set to buy four million bags of maize from this year’s crop to replenish stocks following depletion the previous consignment after the government ordered its release to millers this year to combat high cost of flour.

The price at which SFR buys maize, though not binding on industry players, is usually taken by millers, farmers and traders as the commodity’s minimum price for the season.

The price of flour had shot to hit a high of Sh135 following the shortage of maize in the country amid high demand for flour.

National Cereals and Produce Board, which buys the maize on behalf of SFR said it was yet to hear a word from the agency.

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