2kg maize flour packet to cost sh.100 by end week

A man selects Maize flour in a supermarket./COURTESY

 Nairobi,KENYA:The price of Maize flour is expected to go up to 100 shillings per 2 kilograms a packet at the end of this week, if the government will not release maize from National Cereal and Produce Board (NCBP) on time millers have warned.

 According to Peter  Kunguru,the United Grains Millers Association of Kenya chairperson, this is due to the increased price of maize across the country and its unavailability.

He argues that, the price of maize in the market in general by the time they met the Agriculture cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri stood  at 1600 shillings per bag and below but currently, the price of maize is 2000 shillings per bag of 90 kg across the country which in many instances is not  available in the market.

“The millers recommend that the government release the maize at NCPB directly to the millers at a price of 1400 shillings per bag,” Said Kunguru.

He added that millers will respond to the economic forces of supply and demand for the value chain of maize milling industry since, millers are not able to maintain a price of 800 shillings per bale of 24 kg to the retailers (shs.75 per 2kg packet retail).

The millers said they have no option but to go against Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri directives ( Unga price to drop to 75 shillings per kg) due to lack of one supply of maize to all the millers.

They also complained that farmers are withholding their maize, due to unstable  price stipulated  by the government which may result to massive  shortage of flour in retail outlets.

The board is also recommend that the government to immediately initiate restructuring of NCPB to make transition station for maize from farmers to millers

They also demand that price control on agricultural commodities be avoided due to the fluctuations nature of parameters affecting pricing.

This comes just a few weeks after Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri urged shopkeepers to sell a packet of maizeflour at sh.75 for a two kg packet saying maize was cheap and in plenty.