The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has allayed fears of a maize shortage in Kenya, saying that the country has a stock of at least nine million bags of the staple food.
Speaking Saturday in Kiritiri Town in Embu County, NCPB chairman Geoffrey King’ang’i said the board has 2.2 million bags of maize in its stores while the rest is in the hands of various millers and is fit for human consumption.
Mr King’ang’i said NCPB had already released one million bags to millers to ensure they had enough stock for flour and other use.
He expressed optimism that there would be no rise in the price of maize as the farmers and brokers hoarding the grains will soon release them after realising there is no room for a price increase.
Mr King’ang’i assured Kenyans that there was no old stock which could be unfit for human consumption in the country’s strategic grain reserves.
He added that the country has adequate stocks to last until the next harvest in September.
“We have enough maize to last the country up to September.
“NCPB has 2.2 million bags of maize [in] its silos and depots and has released one million bags to forestall any immediate shortage.
“In two to three days, we expect the price of maize to [go down],” he said.
He said claims of inadequate maize were peddled by millers and farmers who had hoarded the commodity hoping for a price increase in order to get bigger margins.
Mr King’ang’i said that in 2015, old stock and maize contaminated with aflatoxin that had been stored in Ishiara depots in Embu was destroyed.
He refuted media reports that some maize stock was eight years old.