Millers seek incentives to grow fortified products output

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Millers seek incentives to grow fortified products output


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Fortified maize flour. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Millers have petitioned for tariff cuts and technical support to increase the production of flour fortified with nutrients as required by law.
  • The Cereal Millers Association of Kenya said a majority of its small and medium scale members lacked financial resources to comply with a directive the government issued in 2012 requiring food processors to add basic nutrients in their products.

Millers have petitioned for tariff cuts and technical support to increase the production of flour fortified with nutrients as required by law.

The Cereal Millers Association of Kenya said a majority of its small and medium scale members lacked financial resources to comply with a directive the government issued in 2012 requiring food processors to add basic nutrients in their products to help fight diseases associated with poor nutrition.

“The government needs to improve the enabling environment for fortification. This can be done through sustained consumer education, maybe even tax incentives but most critically the government also needs to ensure that adequate resources are available to effectively monitor and enforce fortification,” Cereal Millers Association of Kenya chief executive Paloma Fernandes told the Business Daily.

A recent survey conducted by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and commissioned by Nutrition International established that of the 68 per cent of millers that fortified their flour, only 28 per cent followed the right procedure in adding the micro-nutrients required to make it nutritious.

The millers’ lobby also said price-sensitive consumers have snubbed the costlier fortified products, affecting production.

“This leads to a lack of Incentive by millers. With no increase in sales, millers sometimes don’t see the need to add fortification costs to an already expensive production line,” it said.

“Fortification is, therefore, sometimes seen as a weak business case. Poor recognition of compliant companies by government and consumers have also led to industry fatigue to fortify.”

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