The retail price of maize flour has risen above Sh100 for a two-kilo packet as farmers continue to hoard their produce in anticipation of higher prices in future, denying millers the raw material.
This week, a two kilogramme packet of Jogoo brand is up to Sh102 from Sh99 last week, Soko is up to Sh105 from Sh97, Pembe is selling at Sh106 from Sh99, with Mama going at Sh98 from Sh93 previously.
The Ministry of Agriculture announced last month that none of the maize traders had met new requirements for imports from Uganda.
The increase corresponds to a hike in cost of maize with a 90 kilogramme bag now selling at Sh2,600 from Sh2,200 previously.
It also follows a strict government directive on imports coming in from Uganda and Tanzania, after the grain coming in from those markets was flagged over high levels of aflatoxin.
“Farmers are not releasing maize to the market after the restrictions were imposed on Uganda and Tanzanian maize, pushing up the cost of the raw material,” said United Grain Millers Association chairperson Ken Nyagah.
The price of flour had dropped to below Sh100 in January and held steady on low demand, but now the maize supply constraint is pushing the price upwards even as demand remains muted.