Kenyans will have to wait for at least a year before they enjoy cheap maize flour if words by Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria are anything to go by.
Speaking on Inooro TV, on the evening of Sunday, November 28, CS Kuria stated that the cheap fertilizers the government availed will lower the cost of production, leading to affordable maize flour in the market.
He urged Kenyans to stop wondering why the new government is yet to lower the price of unga as they had promised in the run to the August 2022 elections.
“We just issued the cheap fertilizers to farmers which will help them while farming during the March 2023 short rains.
This means we should expect the first harvest in August, so by November 2023 we will have cheap unga on the shelves," he announced.
He also urged the farmers to stop hoarding maize and release it to the market to curb the shortage.
“We will not achieve the cheap life if the farmers are still hiding maize in stores. These are the people responsible for food shortages in the country,” he noted.
Kuria stated that he has been taking note of farmers' cries who have been telling him to stop importing maize since they have enough harvests.
“I can tell you for sure that the available maize in the country is not enough. We will still suffer a shortage of 15 million even if all the maize is released.
After it's finished, what shall we do? So the farmers want us to die then start blaming the government that we have forsaken the citizens,” he challenged farmers.
Referring to Rift valley farmers, who asked him to focus on his docket and leave the maize issue to Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi, Kuria was categorical that he was only concerned with importation.
“You should know that the maize issue was brought to me by Linturi. As a trade CS, all I should do is take part in the importation,” he uttered.
Speaking of the gazette notice he had promised to issue in a statement on November 21, the CS stated that he still seeking consensus among all the stakeholders.