The Ministry of Agriculture has announced the release of 2.6 million bags of maize from the strategic reserves to millers.
The release of maize comes at a time when Kenyans are dealing with increased maize flour prices across the country. Maize flour has recently witnessed a sharp increase in price in recent months with a looming food crisis.
“There is no maize crisis! We have been favored because there is some maize coming from Tanzania. However, this might not last long and this is why we are encouraging our farmers to plant the short-seasoned crops at this time we are experiencing some rains,” CS Mwangi Kiunjuri said.
Kiunjuri also added that imports were expected from Tanzania to address the current maize shortage.
In Nairobi, most supermarkets are selling a 2kg packet of maize flour between 115 shillings to 120 shillings, unlike Mombasa where the same is selling between 130 shillings to 150 shillings.
Maize is considered a staple food commodity in Kenya and any increase on it is bound to raise the cost of living.
Nakuru and Nyeri residents have not been spared from the price hike of maize flour as a 2kg packet is selling between 115 shillings to 120 shillings from a previous 95 shillings.
A 2kg packet of Soko Maize flour is selling at 120 shillings in Tuskys and Carrefour and 122 shillings in Choppies where the same packet of the Hostess maize flour is selling at 145 shillings to a maximum of 150 shillings.
The most affordable brands of maize flour include Ndovu which is selling at 116 shillings across all supermarkets and Kifaru, which is selling 117 shillings.
The most expensive maize flour brands are Hostess which is selling at an average price of 150 shillings and Amaize which is selling at 148 shillings averagely.
Millers have recorded the highest price for a bag of dry maize since the beginning of the year with a 90kg bag retailing at 4,100 shillings in Mombasa.
Maize prices are hence expected to drop to 2300 shillings from a high 3,000 shillings a 90kg bag once the release announced by the CS takes effect. The drop in maize is expected to have a positive impact on the prices of maize flour which could even go back to the previous 90 shillings for a 2kg packet of maize flour.