NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Cabinet on Thursday called on
millers not to take advantage of prolonged dry weather situation
to hike the price of maize flour as this will further increase
the cost of living.
The cabinet in a meeting chaired by
President Uhuru Kenyatta warned that stern actions will be taken
against those who will be tempted to hoard maize and other
essential food items.
"The Cabinet noted that the drought situation in a number of
Counties among them Turkana, Mandera, Garissa, Marsabit and
Wajir has worsened from the Alert Stage to the Alarm Stage and
assured that the Government has the situation under control," it
said in a statement issued after the cabinet meeting.
The Cabinet also assured that the government will take all
necessary measures to ensure that prices of basic food
commodities remain stable.
Due to the delayed onset of 2019 long rains, the maize market
prices in the country have started showing an upward trend
ranging from 2,200-2,800 shillings (22-28 U.S. dollars) since
The warning comes a day afer the government said it will
release 1.5 million bags of maize to millers this month to help
cushion consumers against high prices of maize flour which are
currently between a dollar to 1.2 dollars for a 2kg packet.
Mwangi Kiunjuri, agriculture cabinet secretary, met with
millers to discuss the current maize prices in the country, and
the scarcity of maize as pointed out by millers last month.
During the meeting, the millers proposed that the government
should release at least 3 million bags of maize from the
Strategic Food Reserve to last the country for one month.
The government has warned that the price hike is set to have
an impact on the cost of food items as producers factor in the
price increase to their cost of production.
As a step to further mitigate the drought situation, Cabinet
urged pastoralist communities to start destocking while their
animals are still in good condition and gave an assurance that
the Government will help in restocking when the weather
The Cabinet also formed a committee charged with the
responsibility of putting into place mitigation measures for the
remainder of the year through to December to ensure the response
to the drought situation in the country is well coordinated.