Kenyans could be staring to another food shortage this year, even as the long rains season delays while food prices start tor rise.
The price of maize flour rose by 28 percent to about Ksh109 from Ksh85 for a 2-kg packet, while that of long-life milk increased by Ksh5 for a 500ml packet from Ksh50 to Ksh55.
Maize millers attribute the rise shortage of supply from farmers.
“There has been scarcity in supply of maize in the market and we are hardly getting stocks from farmers even with increased purchase price of Ksh2,700 for a 90 kilo bag. The increase in cost of maize has already sparked the rise in price of flour as millers have to pass increased cost to consumers,” said Capwell Industries CEO Rajan Shah.
In the milk sector, processors say the situation might normalise next month if the rains come.
“We have adjusted the price of long life milk because of the scarcity that we are facing. We expect the prices to drop if the rains come on time,” says New KCC managing director Nixon Sigey.
There is little hope in the maize sector, even as millers foresee a worsening situation.
Last week, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced that Kenya will experience prolonged hot days ahead.
According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Networks (FewsNet) of the American agency, the long rains normally experienced in Kenya between March and May have been delayed by the tropical cyclone, Idai.
The agency noted that the cyclone redirected moisture away from the East African region hence the delayed rains.
FewsNet however affirmed that above average rains should be anticipated from May through August in uni-modal, surplus-producing areas of Western Kenya and the Rift Valley.