Millers cry foul over 14pc maize importation duty
Flour and animal feeds manufacturers faulted the announced duty on imported maize, arguing the initiative will not change the current situation in the market.
The millers insist that the reduction of the import duty from 50 to 14 per cent for white maize and 10 per cent for animal feeds will not push prices downward as majority of consumers could have expected.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said at a press briefing in Nairobi that the government will be allowing millers to import four million bags of maize to feed the country for the next three months.
The millers, however, welcomed the government’s move to approve importation of more maize for flour and animal feed production.
But the government has maintained that reduction of the importation levy is meant to stabilise the market.
“As part of the wider strategy by the government to protect the consumers against the effects of the corona virus, our idea is to ensure there is stability in the market,” Prof Hamadi Boga, Agriculture Principal Secretary, said in a phone interview.
Ken Nyaga, chairman of the United Grain Millers Association, said as part of taming the effects of the Covid-19, the government ought to have removed the duty and equally increased the imports to eight million bags.
Munya had said there is enough maize in the custody of farmers, millers, traders and institutions that can last the country up to May, two months ahead of the start of the harvest from early crop in South Rift.