Kenyans are going through a tough economic phase as they face numerous pressing problems that have come along with the rising cost of living and unemployment.
The ever escalating food basket prices in the country are exerting more pressure on the general inflation rate hence the high cost of living with Cytonn Investments saying that the inflation for the month of May is likely to increase to more than 12 Percent.
Kenya now falls among countries with a high cost of living in the world with all the pain trickling down to Kenyans.
One kilogram of sugar is currently retailing at 150 shillings in Kenya and when compared to the neighboring countries in the region, the same quantity is going at 146 shillings in Uganda, 103 shillings in Tanzania, 123 shillings in Rwanda and 115 shillings in Burundi.
The table below gives a summary of how different basic commodities are being retailed in different countries across the globe:
The high commodity prices have been linked to the drought that hit the country for the last six months hence leading to low production of basic food commodities that are largely depended on by most Kenyan households. These commodities include maize, beans, rice, sugar, tea, tomatoes, onions among others.
The drought situation, in turn, has been a major setback in the efforts by both the national and county governments to increase the production these food commodities.
Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development of the Egerton University said in a report released in Nairobi that prices of basic food commodities cost more than three times in the local market as compared to the global market.
According to the report, a ton of maize in the local market cost 500 U.S. dollars compared to 150 dollars in the global market. Equally, prices of sugar stand at 1,200 dollars per ton in Kenya and 400 dollars in the global market.
The current food prices in Kenya have been noted to be highest in the last five years.
A 90-kilogram bag of maize in Kenya is currently retailing at 4,290 and comparing the same to Tanzania, there is a difference of over 1,500 shillings. A 90-kilogram bag of rice, on the other hand, is being sold at 10,635 shillings in Kenya.
The government, on Sunday, put into force the law that gives power to the government to set prices of essential commodities. This comes as a relief to Kenyans who struggle to catch up with the ever-rising cost of living.
Will Kenyans realize the fruits of this law?