Kenyans will now pay Ksh25 more for a 2kg packet of maize flour after the United Grain Millers Association (UGMA) announced an increase in the price of commodity accusing farmers of hoarding maize and selling it to external markets.
This means that a 2kg packet will now be retailing at Ksh100, one month after the millers went into an agreement with the national government to sell the 2kg packet at Ksh75.
UGMA on October 29 during a press conference at Laico Regency in Nairobi said that the Ksh75 price is no longer sustainable because millers are buying a 90kg bag of maize at between Ksh2, 200 and Ksh2, 400.
The millers intimated that the farmers are now preferring to sell their produce in South Sudan and Uganda where they are being offered better prices.
“At the time we went into an agreement with the national government, we were acquiring a 90kg bag of maize at Ksh1,600 right now we are buying the same bag at Ksh2,200 to 2,400,” said UGMA member Samuel Kimani during the press conference.
The association however maintains that it is not courting the wrath of interested parties with the price increase but rather it says it has been forced into the adjustment due to lack of the raw material.
UGMA says that for the price to be reviewed to Ksh75 again, the government needs to release the maize being held at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) stores across the country.
“We have already made the government aware of the price review. Going forward, what needs to happen is for the government to release the stock at NCPB and market forces will take shape eventually,” said Mr. Kimani.