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Maize prices are still high despite state assurance

Agriculture CS Willy Bett (L) and Treasury CS Henry Rotich at a joint press conference where they announced a fall of prize of two kilograms packet of maize flour in the next week to Ksh 115 from Ksh 150 on April 4, 2017. Photo/Jack Owuor
The cost of maize remains high, despite the government’s promise the prices would come down in a week.

A 90kg bag is selling for Sh5,489 in Nairobi and Sh6,404 in Mombasa.

The same quantity of maize is retailing at Sh5,032 in Kisumu and Sh4,574 in Eldoret.

According to the Eastern Africa Grain Council — the Regional Agricultural Trade Intelligence Network — a 90kg bag of maize at the Busia-Uganda border yesterday was retailing at Sh4,415.

In Kampala, a 90kg bag is selling at Sh4,675, Sh4,415 in Tororo and Sh2,604 in Kasese, daily market data shows.

In Arusha, a bag of 90kg is retailing at Sh5,871 and at a high of Sh7,217 in Dar es Salaam. In Iringa and Mbeya, maize is selling at Sh6,368 and Sh5,095, respectively. In Rwanda, a 90 kg bag is selling at an average of Sh3,900.

Kenya is currently importing maize from Ethiopia and Mexico, as most East Africans countries have also been affected by the prolonged dry spell.

Last month, the Treasury zero-rated maize imports from Ethiopia and Mexico to ease the current shortage.

Agriculture CS Willy Bett last week said farmers are holding 5.5 million bags of maize, while traders are holding three million bags.

This stock is enough to feed the country for two months. Kenyans consume three million bags a month.

The government will be releasing one million bags from the Nationals Cereals and Produce Board to sell to millers at Sh3,000 to stabilise the prices of maize flour, which has hit a high of Sh153 for a 2kg packet.

“We expect farmers and traders who are holding their maize to release it so that we can achieve our target of Sh115 per 2kg packet of maize flour in a week’s time,” Bett said.

The price of essential food commodities has also increased due to the drought in 23 counties.

Milk has also increased. It is now selling at Sh60, up from Sh50. This comes even as the New Kenya Cooperative Creameries managing director Nixon Sigey assured Kenyans there is enough milk to last the country until May.

A kilogram of rice is selling at Sh160 to Sh170, while wheat is selling at an average of Sh146. A tray of eggs is selling at an average of Sh322.




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