Maize Price Drops to Sh2,000 a Bag (allAfrica.com)

MAIZE prices have now dropped to Sh2,000 per bag in North Rift, where imports from Uganda have risen in the past week.

The Grain Association official Paul Materu said traders have imported more than 500,000 bags of maize from Uganda.

He said markets in most areas will be flooded as farmers prepare to start harvesting. Traders in Bungoma, Busia and Trans Nzoia counties are supplying maize from Uganda and farmers fear once they start harvesting in a few weeks, the prices will drop to as low as Sh1,500 per bag.

Last week, the government released 800,000 bags from the National Cereals and Produce Board to be sold to millers at Sh2,300 per bag.

This aimed to reduce the price of maize flour, but farmers fear the release is leading to price instability in the market.

“If the government does not look at how to regulate the maize sector, farmers are likely to face serious challenges when harvesting begins,” Kenya Farmers Association director Kipkorir Menjo said.

In January, farmers blocked the gates to the NCPB depots in Eldoret, protesting against the failure by government to buy their maize

North Rift governors want the government to provide Sh6 billion to the NCPB to buy maize from farmers within two months.

But NCPB depots are congested with more than 4.2 million bags of maize from the last two years.

Last week, the board held a meeting to decide how to decongest the stores.

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