A past milling process.[Photo/Nation]

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Inter-county trade barriers are ruling out the hopes for cheap flour as numerous levies are passed on to consumers, millers have said.

According to millers, counties are charging Sh64 for every bag of maize passing through their jurisdiction hence increasing pressure on the price of the staple.

More than 90 per cent of maize processed in Nairobi is ferried from Rift Valley and millers have to pay cess as it passes through the counties.

“These inter-county trade barriers are undermining the efforts of keeping the cost of flour low because they add up to overall cost of the finished product,” said Cereal Millers Association.

Other charges from the counties include distribution and branding permits which millers have to pay whenever they go to counties other than the ones they are based in.

Ten trucks from different millers were detained last week by county officials in Nakuru County for they had not paid the required levies.

Mombasa-based millers are the worst hit as maize pass through many counties before getting to the port city for milling.

Millers said they are working with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and counties to eliminate the barriers.   

Flour prices have started stabilising with retailers now selling a two-kilo packet at between Sh105 and Sh113, which is according with a government directive. A spot check indicates most brands are retailing at the same price as of the last two weeks.