Bungoma is the land of the stereotyped ugali. The main stable food in this region is ugali. This implies that maize is the main item one is likely to see while visiting any cereal market in the region.
90 kilogram bag of maize is trading between 2700 shillings and 2800 shillings. Two kilograms of the same commodity are trading between 60 and 65 shillings. Most people do not buy maize in large scale in this region. The major maize sellers, therefore, are the seasonal small scale traders commonly known as kenyarundas by the locals.
90 kilogram bag of beans on the other hand is trading between 5200 shillings and 5600 shillings. Two kilograms of the same commodity is trading between 12o shillings and 150 shillings. Beans prices in this region are determined by the season especially the planting season. Since this is the planting season, many people are after the commodity and hence the skyrocketing prices. Many farmers in this region have embraced the planting of small red colored beans commonly known as wairimu by the locals.
The planting season
It is the planting season in Bungoma. Farmers are busy soiling their hands to beat the planting deadline which is normally at the start of the month of May. Two kilogram packet of hybrid planting maize seeds is going for 360 shillings with a kilo retailing at 180 shillings.
Two kilograms of fertilizer is going for between 150 and 180 shillings with a 50 kilogram bag going for as much as 9000 shillings on retail. This is more than double the price of what was promised by the government to subsidize the price to between 4000 shillings and 4500 shillings but this appears to be only benefiting the large scale farmers and not the small man on the ground.
Article by Juma Fred.