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Kenyan GOVT Subsidizes Maize Flour

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NAIROBI – From Wednesday, Kenyans will be able to purchase a 2-kilogramme packet of maize flour at a subsidized price of 90 shillings (about 87,35 US cents) and at 47 shillings for a one-kg packet, says Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Agriculture Willy Bett.

The new subsidised prices were set after intense consultations with maize millers, he told the media here Tuesday, adding that the government would spend six billion shillings on the subsidy as local millers would now buy a 90-kg bag of maize at 2,300 shillings, just half of the prevailing price of 4,620 shillings.

Bett further said the government was planning to import maize from Zambia and Ethiopia o meet local demand but denied that the Government was involved in the importation of maize, insisting that it had handed that responsibility to private millers.

The government insists that it has in storage 980,000 bags of local maize which can sustain the country up to May 29 while importers are expected to bring in 2.1 million bags of maize in June and three million bags in July before the harvesting of the current maize crop begins.

Bett also defended himself against accusations of misleading the country with regard to remarks he made in August last year to the effect that the country was food-secure and would not be importing maize. – BERNAMA-NNN-KBC

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