Government okays importation of duty free foodstuff


The Kenya Kwanza administration has allowed the importation of duty-free maize, rice and sugar to mitigate against food scarcity.

President William Ruto added that the government move will also mitigate against  high food prices.

He pointed out that the the move is also on raw materials for livestock feeds manufacturing.

“Additionally, the Government has initiated a digital fertilizer subsidy programme to increase production of food and industrial crops,” he pointed out.

Ruto acknowledged that the government is aware of the high food prices and the high cost of living in the country.

The remarks were contained in a speech read on his behalf by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua during the official opening of this year’s Mombasa international show at Mkomani show ground in Nyali constituency in Mombasa county.

The Head of State defended the government on the persistent high food prices and the high cost of living in the country arguing that it is due to national, regional and global factors.

Ruto pointed out the prices of rice, maize and wheat flours, which are the main staple foods, were high last year and the  better part of this year.

Unpredictable Rainfall

He argued they were orchestrated by erratic rainfall, high cost of inputs such as fertilizer and certified seeds among other factors leading to reduced production.

“The recent drought in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) worsened the food situation in those regions of our country,” he pointed out.

The Head of Sate disclosed in his speech the fertilizer subsidy programme has reported notable success against his commitments and delivery plan for Kenyans.

Ruto outlined that to date his administration has been able to register 4.3 million farmers against a target of 5 million.

He added that the digitally registered farmers are uploaded in the e-subsidy management system which has issued 3.6 million e-vouchers to farmers of various value chains.

“Farmers have been accessing fertiliser at KNTC and NCPB stores countrywide and as at 31stJuly, 2023, a total of 3,536,162 bags (50 kg) had been accessed by 553,811 farmers in 41 Counties,” he disclosed.

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