Eyes on sugar, milk subsidies as maize prices remain high

At Tuskys Bandari, in Mombasa, the price of half litre of milk was ranging between Sh47 and Sh60.

Attention will shift to prices of sugar and milk this week after the government promised they will come down following a waiver on the duty of the two basic products.

The move was announced on Thursday by Agriculture CS Willy Bett and the government spokesman Eric Kiraithe. 

However, it remains to be seen whether this will have any effect on the steep prices of the two products given the fact that a similar measure announced more than a month ago has largely failed to bring down the price of maize flour.

Currently, a kilo of sugar is retailing at an average of Sh185 and a half litre of milk ranges between Sh47 (fresh milk) and Sh85 (long-life).

A half litre of milk is expected to retail at Sh50 while a kilo of sugar is expected to drop to Sh120.

STOCKS RAN OUT

A spot check by the Nation revealed that stocks of sugar in some supermarkets had ran out while those that had were selling the 2kg packets at Sh370.

READ: Hunger not Uhuru’s fault, Raila told

The shortage of maize flour has persisted throughout the country despite government measures to bring down the prices.

In Bungoma town, a spot check revealed a dire shortage of the maize meal.  The Sh90 unga was unavailable.

“We are buying maize and taking it to posho mills for grinding,” says John Wafula a grocery seller.

UNGA SHORTAGE

One of the managers at Khetias Supermarket said the little Unga they get was being sold in minutes. “We are not to blame, the suppliers are doing us a disservice, we are sorry for the shortage,” he said.

Meanwhile, many traders in the North Rift are reluctant to stock the government subsidised maize flour due to  low returns.

Some of the traders in insecurity hit parts of the region – West Pokot, Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet have defied the government warning and are instead selling the commodity above the Sh90 price.

SUBSIDISED MAIZE

In Turkana County, the high cost of transporting government subsidised maize flour from Kitale to Lodwar has forced most traders to raise the price of the essential commodity. Businessmen said they were incurring a lot of costs transporting their stocks from Nakuru, over 167km away.

A 2kg packet of flour goes at between Sh140 and Sh180 in Lodwar. 

Meanwhile, a survey in markets in Kisumu, Kericho and Kakamega showed there was high supply of vegetables and tomatoes following rains, with prices coming down.

Anita Chepkoech, Linet Wafula, Wachira Mwangi and Titus Oteba.

Black Soldier Fly: Insect that can turn farm waste into rich animal feed

State: Anti-mines vehicles only offer protection from small arms