Market News

Cofek seeks flour subsidy as price hits Sh130 on shortage

Cofek secretary-general Stephen Mutoro. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU
Cofek secretary-general Stephen Mutoro. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

A consumer lobby wants the government to subsidise the cost of flour saying the prevailing prices are way beyond the ordinary mwananchi.

Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) says there is need to lower the cost through subsidy to protect consumers even as it blames the runaway cost on middlemen.

Cofek secretary-general Stephen Mutoro also wants the government to clear the air on actual stocks of maize in the country to ascertain claims of shortage.

“The cost of living, as depicted by the record flour prices, is way too high. The middlemen and cartels are to blame for high prices of maize flour,” says Mr Mutoro.

“Further, there is need for subsidies on cost of unga (flour) to make it affordable particularly for the majority poor,” he added.

Mr Mutoro also wants the National Cereals and Produce Board (NNCPB) to stop being the buyer and at the same time regulator.

“Kenya needs a cereals regulatory authority to set prices and protect local farmers from cheap imports,” he said.

The average price of a two- kilogramme packet of maize flour has shot from Sh123 last month to Sh130 this month.