Kenya may need to import some corn, its main staple food, after about two months when the agriculture ministry projects current supplies will begin to run out.
The East African nation has sufficient food reserves including corn, cassava, rice, meats, milk and vegetables to feed its population of more than 47 million until the end of June, according to the ministry’s food balance sheet. Estimates indicate a surplus of 3.45 million 90-kilogram bags of corn as July begins, against monthly consumption of 4.25 million units.
“Importers will be facilitated for conditional importation of two million bags of white maize for food and two million bags of yellow maize for animal feed between May 1 and September 30,” according to the document. Private companies should purchase corn directly from growers to help maintain “fair prices for both farmers and consumers,” it said.
The nation’s Strategic Food Reserve announced earlier this month it has 10 billion shillings ($94 million) to purchase corn after depleting national reserves of the grain. Holding the corn for longer than two years would compromise its suitability for consumption.