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Kenya lowers cost of maize flour amid hunger crisis

NAIROBI— Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said Wednesday his government has reduced the price of maize flour by half, to cushion citizens from acute food insecurity linked to prolonged drought and the skyrocketing cost of fuel.

Kenyatta said that a two-kg packet of maize flour would be retailing at 100 shillings (about 84 U.S. cents), down from 1.73 dollars.

The Kenyan leader told a televised news conference in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that the decision to lower the cost of maize flour, the country’s main staple, was meant to cushion vulnerable households from hunger and malnutrition.

He revealed that the government had suspended levies on imported maize as part of a short-term intervention to ensure the commodity is available to families at a reduced cost.

Kenyatta also said that the government will provide subsidies to millers to encourage them to sell maize flour at a lower cost and minimize inflationary pressures on citizens. He believed the fiscal incentives to address an escalating food crisis will have spin-off effects including sustained economic growth, stability and cohesion.

In addition, Kenyatta said the government has suspended testing fees on imported maize and raw materials for animal feeds from July to October, as part of efforts to boost food security.

More than 4.1 million Kenyans are currently food insecure, with four consecutive failed rainy seasons, desert locust invasion, the Ukraine crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic worsening the situation, according to government statistics.


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