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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya government warns millers against hiking price of maize flour

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 April 1.

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 situation improves.

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.

             

 

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