Packed maize flour for sale PHOTO|COURTESY

Millers claim that Peter Munya’s proposals to suspend all tariffs on imported maize in an effort to reduce the cost of the staple will only result in a Ksh2 reduction in the price of flour for a two-kilo package.

The change, according to United Grain Millers Association (UGMA), a group representing small and medium-sized millers, is so inconsequential that it won’t have any effect on consumers.

A 90-kilo bag of imported maize is levied Sh100, and one bag yields 36 packets of two kilograms when milled, thus eliminating the taxes will only result in a Sh2.7 reduction in price.

“The move is so insignificant, we need a serious government intervention on making the maize available in order to cut down significantly on the cost of flour,” said UGMA chairman Ken Nyaga.

He added that the government should open direct talks with countries like Tanzania, Zambia, and Malawi, which are currently the source market for maize imports, to abolish export permits and other border-related fees that have made the grain expensive.

“If we can have direct government talks to scrap export permit levy, then the price of maize will come down and this will impact on the cost of the final product,” he said.