State to pay Sh8.5b for unga subsidy and settle old debt
The government has set aside Sh8 billion to fund the implementation of the recently launched four-week maize flour subsidy programme.
At the same time, Treasury will clear a Sh500 million debt owed to millers contracted to implement a similar programme in 2017, which explains the hesitance by millers to partake the new subsidy deal.
In 2017, the government had implemented a Sh11 billion subsidy programme when the country faced a severe drought leading to high food prices.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said Treasury has opened an Escrow Account at the Central Bank and extended the required finance to cater for the subsidy programme.
“We are on track in terms of implementing the subsidy programme. We have equally established key governance structure required to actualize the activity,” said Munya during a media brief last Friday at Kilimo House.
President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a fifth Stimulus package covering the supply and distribution of maize meal across the country.
Under the deal, maize flour is to retail at Sh100, from a high of Sh230 for a 2kg packet for our weeks.
Pressed to explain how the Sh100 was arrived at, Munya skirted the issue saying the new price is ideal based on the current economic realities
“I am pleased to observe that a day after the subsidy was announced by the president some retail outlets started selling at the recommended price and I expect more momentum to be gained in the coming days,” said Munya, adding that by close of business on July 21, a total of 70 millers had signed contract with the ministry to participate for the programme.
The CS said he has also established a command centre 0800724891 to be manned from 8.00am – 5.00pm daily to ensure seamless implementation of the programme.