Cost of maize flour expected to rise

Cost of maize flour is expected to rise millers attributing the increase to a shortage of maize in the Kenyan market.

The price of maize flour could go up by Sh2 for a two-kilogramme packet due to shortages in the market.

 The projections by maize millers show that the current stocks will last for two months.

The price of common brands like Soko, Jogoo, Dola, Pembe among others are currently selling at Sh 128 and Sh131; with high-end brands like Hostess retailing at Sh155 for a two-kilo packet.

Ken Nyagah, chairman of the United Grain Millers Association, which represents 60% of Kenya’s flour market, claimed they are unable to obtain grain from farmers.

“We have no grain in this country, the little that was with National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has already been bought, it was not even enough, we were getting like 500 to 1000 bags, this is not to say that there was anything at NCPB, but by now they have depleted their stocks,” Nyagah told a local daily newspaper.

He said the 90kg bag of maize is selling at Sh4,200 from Sh3600. Previously millers sourced a bag of maize at Sh3000.

“Currently as millers, we are giving a bale of two kg of maize flour at Sh 1,500 to Sh 1,550. The whole track may go up even with almost Sh400,000 to Sh500,000,” said Nyagah.

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Nyaga urged the government to intervene and save consumers from the high cost of maize flour.

The only other option is to wait until around September when people harvest.

The price increase is also attributed to a new market cess for cereal products that was introduced and costly maize in the market.

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) announced that it has started charging market cess on cereal from produce delivered at respective millers’ premises in Nairobi.

The cess alone could see the cost of flour go up by Sh2 once the cost is factored in the pricing.

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