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Monday February 3, 2020 - Economist David Ndii has taken issue with President Uhuru Kenyatta's directive that the price of unprocessed rice (called 'paddy') be increased from Ksh45 to Ksh85 per kilogram following complaints from farmers.

Taking to social media, Ndii dismissed the directive by President Kenyatta as poorly thought-out.

"These are called roadside declarations.”

“I hope he knows what he is talking about because farmers are paid for paddy, not rice."2

"It takes 1.6kg of paddy to get a kg of rice.”
“Ksh85 would translate to Sh136 per kg of rice," he wrote.

According to Ndii, Uhuru's directive will disrupt the cost of production of rice in the country in effect making the sector unsustainable.

"I should have pointed out Mwea rice is retailing at Ksh150/kg, meaning paddy at Ksh136 leaves Ksh14 margin for processing transport, distribution. Untenable," he added.

Ndii's sentiments were echoed by other individuals who also offered a bleak forecast of the tenability of the directive by the President.

"Raw paddy when milled yields 45-50% head rice."

"So in other words, the big guy wants Ksh170 per kg plus processing costs," Moses Njuguna pondered.


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