Even as Kenyan’s thought they had found relief with the government’s intervention of subsidized maize flour, most of them are still suffocating by the high prices of maize flour.
High maize and maize flour prices and scarcity of the commodity are seeing a rise in the prices of wheat flour which many Kenyans see as a substitute and an alternative to the scarce and often pricey Kenyan staple food.
Different wheat flour brands have increased their prices which are now a 2 Kg packet is retailing at; from 120 shillings last month, Exe is now retailing at 126 shillings, Golden Flour from 116 shillings last month to 123 shillings, Kifaru from 115 shillings to 122 shillings and Ndovu from 116 shillings to 120 shillings.
The price started rising a couple of weeks ago, said the millers, reflecting the elasticity of demand due to the increased consumption, millers said. They added that the prices might stabilize when the normal maize supply in the country resumes.
Even with the government’s intervention, Kenya’s staple food is still scarce and has resulted to many people to opt for the next affordable meal.
Nick Hutchinson, the chairman of the Cereal Millers Association (CMA) said that he has hope that with the government’s intervention with the subsidized maize and maize flour prices may stabilize the cost of wheat flour. He added that there was a slight increase in the international price of wheat which could have partly affected the cost given that Kenya relies on imports to meet the growing demand.
Currently, a 90Kg bag of imported wheat in Nairobi sells at 2,650 shillings against the local price of 3000 shillings that was paid to farmers in the last season.
The high prices that the local farmers are demanding for the locally produced wheat are far much higher and this might have led to the gradual increase in the retail prices by the millers.