Millers last week requested an extension of time to collect maize at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) following the closure of the agency’s stores for stock taking.
The Strategic Food Reserve Oversight Board (SFR) had given millers up to the end of the just-ended month to collect the paid-for stocks but most of them did not pick up all the stocks.
NCPB opened its stores to millers who had paid for grain a fortnight ago after a standoff between the SFR and the Ministry of Agriculture over who was in charge of the stores delayed the process.
“We are asking for more time so that we are allowed to take what we have paid for even after the lapse of the period that we had been given to conduct the exercise,” said Nick Hutchinson, chief executive of Unga Group. The NCPB confirmed the stores had been closed to allow the stock-take.
“We are taking stocks and we have closed our stores for stock taking,” said Titus Maiyo, communications manager at the NCPB.
Mr Maiyo said the exercise might take two weeks to be completed.
As week ago, millers had collected 950,000 bags of maize from SFR out of three million bags as the government sold off cheap grain to ease the rising cost of flour that has now hit Sh120 for a two-kilo packet.
The State is selling a 90-kilo bag at Sh2,300 against a market price of Sh3,300 that has subjected Kenyans to the high cost of flour. Animal feed manufactures also got 300,000 bags of maize from SFR.
The price of a 70-kilogramme chick marsh selling at Sh3,300 in May has shot to Sh3,600 while growers marsh is now going for Sh3,100 from Sh2,800.
Standard dairy meal costs Sh4,500 up from Sh4,200.