The Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ministry of Agriculture Mithika Linturi has held a consultative meeting with millers and grain importers at Kilimo House in a bid to further lower the prices of food in the country through duty-free importation of maize and rice.
The government granted millers and grain importers a duty waiver of 1.4 MT of maize and 1.1MT of Rice in December 2022 as a short-term measure to lower the prices of maize flour and rice in the country.
Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Agriculture Hon. Mithika Linturi said that the Ministry has noted under performance by millers and grain importers in the importation of maize and rice because less than 10% of the commodities has been imported since December 2022 when the millers and grain importers were granted import duty waiver licenses by the Government.
Only 90,621 MT of maize and 95,381 MT of rice has arrived in the country since December.
‘I have now issued a 7-day ultimatum to holders of duty-free licenses to prove that they are importing the commodities. Those who will not comply will have their licenses revoked”,
said CS Linturi.
He further offered millers and grain importers who have already imported their duty-free consignments an additional allocation to import the commodities under the duty-free arrangement to achieve the givernment’s main aim of reducing food prices in the country.
CS Linturi further noted that no extension of the duty waiver licenses will be allowed beyond August 2023 when local maize farmers are expected to harvest their yields and no miller and grain importers will be allowed to re-export maize and rice shipments that were imported using the duty free licenses.