The Kenyan Government has extended the duty-free maize imports for a further two months to facilitate more importation of maize and alleviate the shortage of maize, which results in high prices of maize flour.

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani and Agriculture CS Peter Munya have worked towards extending the window for three more months until September 30.

This comes after the maize importers complained about the shortness of the initial window and argued the waiver would not have much impact since ships loaded with maize would only dock after the window had closed.

This will afford maize importers who had ordered the product more time to bring their goods into the country.

“It is notified for the general information of the public that, upon recommendation by the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury amends the Gazette Notice No. 5544 of May 9, 2022, by deleting the words “August 6, 2022” and substituting therefor the words “September 30, 2022,” the Gazette Notice read.

Initially, Yatani suspended the import tax on maize to increase the importation of the product outside the East African Community in a bid to bring down the price of maize flour in the country, which had skyrocketed.

President Uhuru Kenyatta's announcement of the 5th stimulus package, which focuses on food subsidies aiming to cushion vulnerable households against the harsh economic times is what made the prices come down. 

About 540,000 metric tonnes were expected in the country during the waiver period that would have ended in a few days' time.