3.2 million kgs of subsidized maize flour have been supplied to the market according to the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives. The ministry also says this is expected to increase this week.
The announcement comes in the background of complaints from some members of the public who have been complaining that the flour has not reached their areas. Others have complained that the prices have remained constant despite the government initiative.
” Our observations and feedback from the teams on the ground indicate that flour has been retailing at the prescribed KES 100.00 per 2Kg packet in most areas. However, there are some regions where we have also observed some pockets of the same retailing at the old prices as the programme is yet to trickle down to them. With millers now upscaling production and enhancing their distribution to reach all areas, we expect the retail prices to stabilize at the Kshs. 100 across the country and make the maize flour accessible. We have also noted incidences of panic buying in some areas and as such, we wish to assure the public that we have sufficient stocks, and these shall continue to be availed through accelerated production and availability of raw materials through imports as well as local production,” says Dr. F.O Owino the Principal Secretary Ministry of Agriculture.
The PS urges the millers to improve and heighten the distribution to outlets to resume the normal flow of flour to retail outlets adding that receiving and processing of invoices for payment commenced on 26th July 2022 and continues.
To date, the government has received invoices amounting to Kshs 325,480,032.00. Of this, Kshs 160,920,425.75 of payments have been processed as of this morning. Dr. Owino opines that they have set a standard to ensure that the turnaround time for payment of all invoices received is initiated immediately and done within 24 hrs.
Monitoring and surveillance teams are on the ground to ensure the smooth implementation of the subsidy program. The ministry and other government agencies are also tracking incidences of hoarding of flour and says appropriate action will be taken against the millers and wholesalers who are involved in these malpractices.
“I note with concern that some retailers who have received the programme stocks are selling above the recommended retail price allegedly to cover for transport costs. I wish to reiterate that the prescribed price is Kshs 100.00 or less and all retailers must abide by this. Stern action will be taken on those retailers trying to profiteer from this programme. There have also been reported incidences of retailers making 4 conditional sales of the flour and these have been flagged and the necessary action has been taken. I wish to thank all the participating millers and actors along the supply chain for their partnership and commitment in ensuring unga reaches all corners of the country. I once again urge the retail players to embrace this initiative as they are the cornerstone of its success, being the last mile to the Mwananchi,” opines Dr. Owino.