The Price of maize flour in Kenya has crossed the Ksh.200 mark for the first time in history, painting a gloomy look of a continued struggle by the majority of Kenyans trying to earn a living.
A two-kilogram packet of Unga retailed at Ksh.150 in mid-May and has gone up 38.6 percent to Ksh.208.
A packet of Jogoo brand is selling at Ksh.204, Pembe at Ksh.208 and Ajab is going for Ksh.206.
Premium brands like Amaize and Hostess are now retailing at Ksh.204 and Ksh.220 respectively from Sh167 a week earlier.
This is the highest rate in Kenya’s history, in what could become a protracted period of feeble growth due to high inflation rate.
It can also be mirrored by a delayed rainfall in the country coupled with high cost of transport due to unbearable fuel prices.
Millers have warned the prices will continue rising in the coming days due to lack of enough stocks.
Currently, a 90kg bag of maize flour is retailing at Ksh.6,500 from Ksh.5,200.
In December last year, a 90-kilo bag of maize shot to Ksh.4,500 from Ksh.2,800 due to tightening supply in the market.
The government has been accusing farmers of holding onto 85 percent of the total stock of maize in the country, as they anticipated better prices in the future.
This represents 8.5 million bags of maize stocks out of 10.1 million bags of 90Kgs, which has left millers facing a shortage of maize.
This prompted a warning from Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya that the country would run out of maize when he announced his plans to allow maize imports from outside the East African Community (EAC), for the first time since 2017.
“We are going to run out of maize in the next few months and to control the rising cost of flour, we need to import the produce,” said Munya.
High cost of living has been witnessed across the world against the backdrop of soaring inflation due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
Inflation in Kenya for the month of May jumped to 7.1 percent from 6.4 percent in April.