Economy

Maize flour price crosses Sh100 on high costs of transport

unga

Workers load flour on to a truck for dispatch at Unga Limited plant in Eldoret. FILE PHOTO | NMG

geraldandae

Summary

  • The price of flour has crossed a Sh100 mark on the shelves as millers blame the increase on rising cost of maize.
  • Though the price of maize at the farm gate has dropped significantly, processors argue that the cost of transportation to Nairobi has made it expensive.
  • A 90-kilogramme bag of maize, according to millers, is landing in Nairobi at Sh2,700, up from Sh2,500 in late August.

The price of flour has crossed a Sh100 mark on the shelves as millers blame the increase on rising cost of maize.

Though the price of maize at the farm gate has dropped significantly, processors argue that the cost of transportation to Nairobi has made it expensive.

A 90-kilogramme bag of maize, according to millers, is landing in Nairobi at Sh2,700, up from Sh2,500 in late August.

A two-kilo packet of Jogoo is now retailing at Sh106 from Sh99 last month, Soko is selling at Sh108 from Sh96 while Pembe and Ndovu cost consumers Sh103 and Sh104 respectively.

The rising prices will have an impact on inflation as food and energy are major drivers of high cost of living in the country.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) report indicated that food prices rose 10.63 percent in September compared with a year ago.

Capwell Industries chief executive officer Rajan Shah said though the prices of maize could have gone down at the farm following the onset of harvesting in some parts of the North Rift, the fact that the commodity gets to Nairobi at a higher cost has an impact on the final product.

“The supplies from North Rift are not plenty at the moment and the fact that what is being harvested gets here at a higher price, will definitely affect the cost of flour,” said Mr Rajan.

Mr Rajan said they have been witnessing a rising cost in price of maize in the last couple of weeks, which is now impacting on the cost of flour.

Farmers in the north rift, arguably the country’s breadbasket, have started harvesting the main crop for this year with the exercise expected to peak next month.

The government anticipates a 20 percent drop in production this year because of erratic rains and invasion of fall armyworm, which affected the crop in some parts of Trans-Nzoia and Uasin Gishu counties.