The government has suspended all taxes on maize imported into the country in a bid to boost food security.
The move will come as a relief to Kenyans as the price of flour is set to go down. Currently the price of a 2kg packet of maize flour retails at a cost of Sh210 up from Sh140 last month.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mr. Peter Munya said the abolishment of taxes levied on maize imports will ensure there is enough maize supply in the country lowering the cost of flour production.
Speaking at the Namanga border Tuesday after meeting several stakeholders to address the maize shortage crisis, Munya said all maize imported into the country from Tanzania and other COMESA countries will be exempted from taxation effective July1.
“We have suspended all levies and charges on maize coming into the country from all border points. The move is aimed at averting the maize shortage crisis and ensuring cost of maize flour comes down,” said Munya.
The CS added that the move will help fast track the clearance of trucks ferrying maize into the country at the borders which recently experienced a snarl up especially at the Namanga border point.
He further warned those hoarding maize not to complain once affordable maize hits the stores.
“There are people who have been hoarding maize to punish others, we have suspended levies to bring down the prices to affordable levels. We do not expect any one of them to complain when the prices come down for the next three months,” said Munya.
Munya revealed that apart from the government’s suspension of tariffs, it had also waived taxes imposed on imports of maize by flour millers and the companies will now be able to import duty free.
The move will come as a relief to maize millers in the country who in the past weeks have complained about the high cost of flour production. “We have also authorised millers to import maize which is duty-free from the rest of the world for the next 90 days,” added Munya.
He said the prices of animal feeds will also come down after yellow maize has been ordered to be imported.
“We want to assure the public that we are working day and night to bring down the prices of unga and animal feeds. We will assist local business people to import maize from abroad,” said Munya.
By Rop Janet