President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered traders to pay 2,500 shillings for a 90-kilogram bag of maize and in turn, maize prices have been seen falling sharply weeks after the order.
A check across the country shows that middlemen are paying farmers 1,700 shillings for a 90-kilogram bag of maize, the lowest price in the last two years.
“We are now selling our maize at 1,700 shillings, this is very low considering the high cost of production that we are incurring in growing the staple,” said Ms. Bilhah Wechuli, a large-scale maize farmer in Trans Nzoia County.
Farmers have started harvesting their maize in most parts of the North Rift with the exercise expected to peak next month, however, many are expecting losses following the sharp fall in prices.
Additionally, traders are complaining that the maize that they are getting from farmers has a high level of moisture and they would have to incur extra cost in drying the grain before selling to consumers.
President Uhuru’s Order On Maize Price
President Uhuru Kenyatta last month directed the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that farmers are paid a minimum of 2, 500 shillings per bag for their maize.
The president also issued a number of other directives aimed at safeguarding farmers and enhancing their income, which included lowering of the drying and storage charges at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
In response, the NCPB announced last week that it has started drying and storage services of maize to farmers and that the board has reviewed drying charges downward by 50 percent, from the current 40 shillings per unit drop of moisture to 20.
About The Prices Of Beans And Legumes Across Major Towns
In Kakamega, a 90-kilogram bag of wairimu beans is retailing at 10,000 shillings which are the highest compared to Nairobi where it is going at 7,000 shillings.
Bungoma has a relatively high price of Wairimu beans which is retailing at the price of 11,200 shillings per every 90-kilogram with some places like Eldoret and Kisumu selling at 8,000 shillings.
In Nairobi, a 90-kilogram bag of Rosecoco is retailing at 10,600 shillings. Currently, Rosecoco is the most expensive in the market.
In Karatina and Eldoret, a 90-kg bag of Wairimu beans is going for 6,500 shillings which is much cheaper compared to other parts of the country like Bungoma which has the most expensive prices in the market at the moment.