The prices of maize and eggs have risen due to the closure of the Kenya-Uganda border after Kampala banned the movement of vehicles to curb the spread of coronavirus.
A 90-kilogramme bag of maize previously retailing at Sh2,600 has now shot to Sh3,000 with the effect expected to be felt by consumers once the price of flour starts going up.
The spike in cost has been precipitated by a decline in supply as the Ugandan maize, which normally supplements the local stocks, is no longer coming in, according to Cereal Growers Association (CGA) chief executive Anthony Kioko.
He said the Ugandan action has blocked the inflow of grain to Kenya, piling pressure on the little that is available.
“With the closure of the border, Kenya is no longer getting maize from Uganda and this has seen the cost go up from Sh2,600 to over Sh3,000 for a 90-kilo bag depending on the location,” said Mr Kioko.
The anticipated shortage this year has kept the price of maize high with a 90-kilogramme bag selling at Sh3,000 at the farm gate in January before easing last month following harvesting of the short crop in eastern Kenya.
At the same time, the price of eggs has shot up from Sh350 a tray last month to Sh370 with sellers attributing the decline to diminished supply.
Kenya gets a lot of poultry products from Uganda, especially eggs, which has over the years kept the local price low as they are cheaper compared with the ones produced domestically, leading to an outcry from farmers.
Kenya has been considering levying duty on poultry products Kampala in retaliation to the tax that the landlocked neighbour levies on its poultry products.
Nairobi has been embroiled in tax disputes with its East African Community partners, especially Uganda and Tanzania, which have been levying duty on some of the goods destined to the partner states. For instance, Tanzania has imposed a veterinary levy on Kenyan milk while Uganda is taxing poultry products at 18 per cent value-added tax.
This has made it hard for Kenyan goods to compete favourably in these markets.