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State identifies South African exporter behind maize import

The Government has disclosed that Inter Africa Grains PTY of Johannersburg, South Africa, sold the 29,900 metric tonnes of white maize being offloaded at the Port of Mombasa. The Jubilee administration summoned all millers to help deal with cartels that have been creating a false maize shortage to raise the prices.

The Central Millers Association (CMA) in a statement before the meeting said they did not know the number of millers in the country and could only account for their members. In a statement, the millers denied knowledge of Peter Njuguna, stating that they had only two spokespersons, the chairman Nick Hutchinson and CEO Paloma Fernandes. They said they also have a board drawn from association members, all of whom are registered millers but have no secretary general as claimed by Mr Njuguna.

“We have only 28 members at CMA but there are over 110 millers who have access to the maize at NCPB (National Cereals and Produce Board),” CMA said. And speaking in Mombasa, Transport Principal Secretary Paul Maringa said State agencies were ready to handle ships carrying maize without delay. Offloading of the maize import, which is aboard MV IVS Pinehurst, started on Friday.

Prof Maringa said three locally based millers had imported the maize. He named the firms as Kitui Flour Mills (10,000 tonnes), Pembe Flour Mills 10,000 tonnes and Hydery (P) Ltd -9,900 metric tonnes. He said that by May 15, 5,100 metric tonnes of the commodity had been collected by various millers for processing into maize flour. Millers who have acquired part of the consignment ready for processing include Alpha Grain Millers located in Athi River, 11,486 bags each weighing 90kg. The rest include Eastern Flour Mills located in Machakos with 1,594 bags , Karibu Flour Mills (Malindi) taking in 1,594 bags), Kenbless Ltd of Thika (5,506), Kitui Flour Mills and Mombasa Maize Millers taking in 27,932 and 68,756 bags.

CMA admitted the loosely regulated smaller millers were rigging maize prices by obtaining maize from NCPB to resell at a later date.
written by Phillip Mwakio via Smart Harvest

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