Confusion as cheaper maize meal goes on sale
Posted Tuesday, December 9 2008 at 22:48
- Millers say they are yet to get cereal for new brand as Ruto unveils retail price
Mr Kadenyere asked the Government to give guidelines on how the new brand was to be sold to ensure that only deserving customers got it.
About 400,000 bags of the subsidised maize flour is expected to be available in the market today, but it was not clear how this would be achieved given the concerns raised by millers.
While launching the brand, Mr Ruto said the flour, to be packed in 5-kilo bags would be distributed to retailers on Wednesday morning across the country and would be sold at Sh130 per bag.
When key Government officials met millers for talks on how to reduce maize flour prices, they agreed that the new brand would be distributed to areas such as slums where the majority of poor Kenyans live.
However, Mr Ruto onnTuesday said that the flour would also be available in supermarkets.
He also said that millers were expected to start distributing another brand that will retail at Sh72 for a 2-kilogramme bag in the next few days, which is about Sh48 cheaper than the average price of maize flour two weeks ago.
Mr Ruto said that millers were already receiving maize from the Government. The millers last week agreed to charge the Government Sh200 for milling each 90-kilo bag of the subsidised brand.
“We are still within the time frame of seven to 10 days announced last Monday, and we hope that within the next two days, Kenyans will be able to buy cheaper flour," Mr Ruto said when he launched the “feed the nation” programme.
The price of maize flour, a staple food for majority of Kenyans, had skyrocketed to a high of Sh120 due to an artificial shortage of maize in the country.
Last December, the commodity was retailing at Sh48 for a 2-kilo pack. The price of flour was a campaign issue at the time with some candidates promising to reduce the cost should they win the election.
The latest shortage was blamed on a cartel of politicians and businesspeople, who have been buying the maize from the cereals board and reselling it to millers for a profit of about Sh1,000 per bag.
A group of 12 MPs was believed to have been behind the shortage.
Additional reporting by Aruhanga Sudhir