It has been a tough economic start in Kenya, with the prices of almost every commodity starting off with such a high. Maize flour has been the debate of the country, enquiries of whether there will be ever enough to feed the country, as food security took a toll on the Government.
There is a sigh of relief as things begin to look up in the country with a slight come back possibility of stability in the previously devastating state of the economy. The prices of major commodities have gone down, at least to a fair scale. This will be a hope for the future that lies ahead, anticipating for a better end.
The decline in prices comes as a big relief to millions of consumers, who few weeks ago were suffering under the weight of high cost of the commodities due to low supplies, making the government introduce subsidies.
A 2-kg tin of dry maize is currently retailing at an average of $1 from a high of $1.5 in May. On the other hand, a 90-kg bag of the cereal is going for $38 down $46 about two months ago. Similarly, a 2-kg packet of sugar is currently being sold at $1.1, down from $2 in May following the importation of the commodity from COMESA region.
A government subsidy that followed the importation of duty-free maize has helped bring the cost of maize flour to a low of $0.09, with supply of the commodity which was recently hard to come by steadying.
While farmers who planted early in some parts of the country have started harvesting their maize, what has stabilised the prices are increased imports from Zambia and neighbouring Tanzania. Kenya was set to import up to three million bags of maize between May and July to ease the severe shortage.
However, by end of August, the ministry of agriculture is targeting to ship in up to five million bags of the commodity.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said last week maize supply would normalise in a fortnight.