Buying Maize

Kitale and its surrounding areas are the number one maize producers in all of East Africa. We feed the nation with its most common meal, ugali. [Maize is white corn.]

This week, I found myself down town at the maize mill buying a sack of ugali flour for an orphanage. I took some pictures on my phone so I could share the process with you.

First, you have to look through the sacks of maize to find one free of impurities.

One by one you open the bags until you find one of quality. Less debris and more kernels equals a high quality sack of maize.

Then you empty the the sack into a sifting table. The metal bottom has holes. As you rub the corn back and forth against the table, debris fall through to the floor. The debris are later sold as chicken feed.

Next the maize kernels are poured into a side compartment on the grinder. This is what the inside looks like (they had to repair it while we were waiting).

As the petrol operated grinder goes to work, maize flour comes out the other end. The flour is examined using a sifter to insure proper quality. The flour is then taken to a scale and measured by kg. The bag of Maize flour pictured below is worth around 2,500 shillings.


5 Responses to Buying Maize

  1. Judy says:

    That was very interesting Elizabeth. Thanks for sharing. We ate ugali at Mattaw in June.

    • elizabeth says:

      It can be pretty disgusting the first time you see it, but then it begins to grow on you. I miss eating ugali when I go home. It’s funny how much I like ugali because I actually hate grits.

  2. Aaron says:

    Hi Elizabeth…

    Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. 🙂


  3. LM says:

    Wonderful blog this morning, thank you for going through the process for us. I had no idea about this. I did buy white cornmeal a while back and tried a ugali recipe, I like anything. This was different since it had no salt or spices. It was a lot like grits if you forgot the salt, not bad. It reminded me of eating the flakes we fed the gold fish when I was a child. Thank you for your pictures today and for you gift to the orphanage. Bless you and those you minister to. Love, Lilly

  4. Rebecca says:

    Really interesting process. I guess this method replaced the donkey walking around in a circle. The orphans are lucky to have you to help them. Thanks for the interesting post.

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