During a media interview in Karen, Nairobi on Sunday, March 12, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua explained why the government’s plans to import duty-free maize into the country had hit a snag.
Gachagua cited the intense competition from East and West African countries seeking to purchase maize from South Africa as a major challenge.
He also noted that importing maize from Brazil was not an option due to high travel expenses that made it too expensive.
Gachagua pointed out that direct importation of maize was avoided to ensure transparency and prevent graft incidences.
He further explained that the government had a fair and transparent application process for those who sought to import duty-free maize.
Gachagua commended the efforts of the Kenya Kwanza Administration, which had helped bring down the price of unga from Ksh250 to around Ksh170.
The DP noted that the government considered subsidizing consumption unsustainable and initially, millers had locked out of trying to get import licenses after disagreeing with the government’s fixed price of Ksh4,200 for a 90-kilogram bag of maize.