The Ministry of Agriculture has approved importation of 2.5 million bags of yellow maize to ease the current pressure on the white produce as well as cool off prices of animal feeds.
The decision was reached on Thursday after animal feed manufacturers met with Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga and Strategic Food Reserve (SFR) chief executive Omar Salat.
The move will see traders and manufacturers bring in the yellow maize duty free.
“We have agreed with the Ministry of Agriculture that we bring in 2.5 million bags of yellow maize in a process that should commence after the gazettement by the Treasury,” says Martin Kinoti, Secretary-General of the Association of Animal Feeds manufacturers.
The push and pull between the ministry and the SFR has seen delays in importation of 12.5 million bags of maize that the government had intended to allow millers to ship in duty-free.
Mr Kinoti says the current arrangement should stay in place even in the coming years to enable manufacturers to import the produce every year.
“This plan should remain in place in order to cut competition for white maize between the animals and human beings,” he said.
Yellow maize permits were issued to three mainstream millers and about 17 animal feeds manufacturers in 2017 following a similar shortage.
More than two million bags were imported after the duty waiver by the government in April 2017, ending in December of the same year.
The processors had said if they do not get more stocks after last week the prices would rise forcing farmers and consumers to absorb the extra cost.