Tanzania has frozen the issuance of new maize export permits, a move set to escalate maize shortage in Kenya consequently affecting prices upwards.
The freeze has affected several millers in Kenya, who have been unable to import maize from Tanzania since last week according to Ken Nyaga, the chairperson of the United Grain Millers Association.
“We have been unable to get maize from Tanzania since last week after the country stopped issuing export permits to traders with the cutting off of stocks from Tanzania expected to push up the cost of flour,” Nyaga told Business Daily.
According to data from the Eastern Africa Grain Council, imports from Tanzania nearly grew five-fold in 2021 to 469,474 tonnes from 98,000 tonnes in 2020.
Uganda has been the alternative source of maize for Kenya, but higher prices in South Sudan have seen Ugandan farmers shy away from Kenyan traders, forcing Kenya to look to Zambia to plug the deficit.
Due to the shortage, it is expected that the price of 90kg bag will shoot to Ksh5,900 from Ksh5,400, according to millers.
In turn, this will affect the price of maize flour upwards from the current price of Ksh210 for a two-kilo packet.
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