Millers have snubbed maize imports due to high landing cost and a shorter window provided for shipping.
With the new move, the cost of flour is expected to rise locally.
Business Daily reported that processor can only access non-Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) maize in Mexico but it takes 45 days to arrive.
According to Capwell Industries CEO Rajan Shah, the given time is not enough for processors to import enough materials.
“We have the challenges that make it nearly unfeasible to import maize in the window provided. Three months is a short time to bring in any substantial quantities,” he said.
On the other hand, United Grain Millers Association chairperson Ken Nyagah said the imports will not address the current cost of flour.
“A 90 kilo bag is landing in Kenya at Sh6,000, locally the same quantity is going for Sh4,700. This means that the imports will have no effect on high prices of flour,” Nyaga said.
At the moment, maize flour has hit a record high of KSh 148 for a two-kilogramme packet making it the highest price of maize flour to be ever released in the country.
The last time the maize flour was expensive was in 2017 when a two-killograme packet went for KSh 136.
“The price of maize has gone up and it is not readily available in the market, this is the reason why the price of flour is rising,” Shah explained.
A two-kilogramme packet of Soko and Ajab flours is retailing at KSh 148, Pembe at KSh 144 while Jogoo is selling for Sh140 from an average of KSh 120.