The majority of middle class citizens in Kenya rely on maize flour for food. This is the main staple food in Kenya and perhaps this is the reason why over the years, the price of the commodity has been moving steadily along with the inflation in the country.
The news that the price of maize flour has come down, comes as good news, not only to consumers but also to the economy as the effect of inflation is bound to ease among most households.
This comes amidst abundant maize harvests in the country that have led to more supply and subsequently a reduction in prices with the 90 kilogram bag of maize now retailing at 2000 shillings from the previous 2800 shillings.
A random check in stores has shown that a two kilogram of maize flour is now retailing between 89 shillings and 95 shillings from the previous retail price of between 97 shillings and 105 shillings.
According to the statistics at the Kenya National Bureau of Statics, the inflation rate in the country increased from 7.32 percent in the month of November to 8.01 percent during the month of December and to a greater extent it was as a result of the high prices of food especially maize flour.
Currently, there is a surplus of maize supply on the market from the locally grown maize. Maize takes more than 80 percent of the raw materials used to make flour and its abundance as well as the low prices is good news to the millers who have, in turn, lessened the burden for the consumer by lowering the prices.
The low prices, however, are going to hurt farmers who will have to content with the low prices of their prices. Most maize farmers in the past have complained of the low prices of maize that is always way much below as compared to the farm inputs.
Most of them have even threatened to switch from farming maize to other cash crops if the government will not come clear on the prices of maize.
The government had tried to solve the problem by providing subsidized fertilizers to the farmers but the majority of the farmers say that they rarely get hold of the fertilizers.
Inflation is now expected to fall within the Central Bank’s limits of between 2.5 and 7.5 percent.
Article by Juma Fred.