President Uhuru Kenyatta today asked millers to reduce the price of maize flour to reflect the surplus in production.
President Kenyatta said interventions in the agriculture sector including the subsidised fertiliser programme has had positive results and Kenyans want to see the benefits.
“I encourage millers to be mindful of their social responsibilities,” said the Head of State as he pointed out that the agricultural sector is enjoying massive support from the State with an allocation of Sh57 billion in this year’s budget alone.
The President said the expected maize supply this year is nearly 47 million bags and added to the 9.8 million bags in stores already, the country will have a surplus of more than 4 million bags.
“In a rational environment, this should translate to significant reduction in the price of maize flour. I, therefore, want to be clear: since supply has risen, dealers should do the right thing to their fellow Kenyans, and ease prices, ” said President Kenyatta.
At the same time, President Kenyatta warned the National Cereals and Produce Board against mismanaging payments for maize farmers.
He said the Government has started paying maize farmers who were owed money by the NCPB.
President Kenyatta said the delay in the payments was caused by mismanagement of budgetary allocations by the NCPB last year which saw the state corporation paying rich traders at the expense of farmers.
He warned that the government is monitoring how NCPB is spending the current allocation and any attempt to misdirect funds will be dealt with harshly.
“Instead of paying farmers who have toiled, the people at NCPB went ahead and paid the rich traders. I promise you and I swear before God, try that again and you will see what will happened to you,” said the Head of State.
The President also announced that the Government has finalised plans to increase the production and consumption of blended maize flour with the aim of supporting nutritional intakes of food.
He said the policy is aimed at increasing the production and consumption of drought tolerant crops like sorghum, millet and cassava.
“This will create a market for farmers of these staple crops, especially in those parts of our country that receive less rainfall,” said the President.
The President spoke today at the Jamhuri Show Ground where he officially opened the 2018 ASK Nairobi International Trade Fair.