The maize flour subsidy program is set to halt an the end of this month, with the government upbeat that maize imports as well as harvest from this year’s season will maintain the price of unga at current rates.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett says the end of the subsidy will pave way for forces of demand and supply to operate, but maintains the government will continue be keen to prevent unscrupulous traders from taking advantage once the government intervention ends.
The maize flour subsidy program was introduced by the government in May this year, effectively lowering the price of flour by half. A two kilogram packet has been retailing at 90 shillings while a one kilogram packet at Sh 47 under the intervention.
Initial projections have indicated the country is likely to produce 37 million bags of maize this year, five million bags short of the targeted 42 million bags. The drop is attributed to low rain in some regions as well as to the effects of the army-worm invasion, witnessed in most maize growing areas this year.
The National Cereals and Produce Board is currently purchasing maize from farmers which Bett says will enable government launch another intervention in case a shortage is experienced.