Food inflation has risen to a two-year high of 8.1 percent, subjecting Kenyan households to budgetary pain amid a general rise in the cost of living.
Food basket prices last rose at this rate in October, 2017 (8.23 percent)amid General Election jitters and a drought that sent prices rocketing.
Last year, food inflation remained largely in check due to good rains and spillover of imports but following a decree to keep imported maize out, food prices are on the gallop again.
“Between October and November 2019, food and non-alcoholic index increased by 0.62 per cent. This was due to increase in prices of some foodstuff outweighing decrease recorded in others,” Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Director- General Zachary Mwangi said in a Press release on Friday last week.
Over the past one year, the price of tomatoes has gone up 43.1 per cent from Sh66.9 to Sh95.78 a kilogramme. while the price of green grams is up 27.6 per cent from Sh152.6 to Sh194.8. The price of beans has jumped 14.1 per cent over one year from Sh107.8 to Sh123.
But it is maize prices that have rallied most aggressively, with one kilo of loose grain rising 35.5 per cent from Sh45.1 last year to Sh56.2 in November, 2019 while the price of a two kilogramme packet of sifted maize rose 55.1 per cent from Sh84.3 to Sh130.7 over the intervening period.