Maize prices in the country got a boost last season where maize farmers emerged winners as the commodity’s price averaged at sh.2,300 for every 90kg bag.
It has always been a norm that whenever there is a plentiful harvest, maize prices tend to be low since the commodity is in plenty thus competition in the market. The selling price per bag brought forth great returns to the farmers as a research showed that the production cost of the same bag was Sh.800, thus making them receive profits of Sh.1,500 in every bag.
In the past, the government has been setting the market price at Sh.3,200 per every 90kg bag, which used to bring about confusions as other buyers, apart from those from the cereals board came with other varying prices, this made farmers, especially the ones who were not lucky to sell their produce to the cereal board to end up working with middlemen.
Another relief came about as there has not been importation of maize from the neighboring country, Uganda, since the country experienced low harvests. Ugandan maize has been bringing about stiff competition to the local farmers since the imported commodity used to be sold at very low prices, thus forcing the local prices to be reduced and in return affecting farmers greatly.
Uganda tend to sell their maize in Kenya because the commodity happens not to be their staple food as it is in the country. That is the reason why even if there is shortage in the country, they tend to come in handy with whatever they will have harvested to save the situation in the country.
Among other things being put in place to help in increasing maize production and maize preservation is the warehouse receipting system. The Kenya Agricultural Research and Livestock Organization too helped by innovating the Aflo-safe, for the purposes of reducing incidences of aflatoxin on the commodity.
Article by Vera Shawiza.