Kenyan families will have to brace themselves for tougher times ahead as maize flour prices are anticipated to surge further following the expiry of the fee waiver that had been put in place by the government on imported maize to control prices since July 1st.
The waiver which came into effect last Friday cushioned consumers from high inflation in the country. In an internal memo from the managing director of the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) Dr Theophilus Mutui to the deputy directors, millers were advised to resume charges for maize and animal feeds as of October 1st on grounds that the waiver had lapsed.
“The gazette notice No.7499 directive for waiver of charges for maize with effect from July 1 to September 30 refers. Please note that the waiver period will lapse on September 30. You are hereby advised to resume charges for maize and animal feeds from October 1,” Dr Mutui said in the memo.
Before the gazettement of the waiver by outgoing Agriculture cabinet secretary Peter Munya, a packet of Unga was retailing at Ksh. 225 which most households living below the poverty line in Kenya could not afford. A 2kg packet of maize flour is currently retailing below Sh200 on average, with many brands selling at Sh189 at local supermarkets but that is anticipated to increase if millers follow through with the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services directive.