The price of maize flour has dropped to below Sh200 for a two-kilo packet on the back of an increase in the supply of grain at the market, providing much needed relief to consumers.

In Naivas and Quickmart retail outlets, the price of the staple ranges between Ksh196 and Ksh183 depending on the brand, from a high of Ksh230 a month earlier.

Flour on the shelf in the supermarket. Photo (BDA).
Flour on the shelf in the supermarket. Photo (BDA).

For instance, a packet of Ndovu is retailing at Ksh183, Pembe Ksh190, Dola Ksh193, Soko Ksh194 and Ajab Ksh189.

Millers have attributed the decline to an increase in the availability of maize as the short rain crop from South Rift and Western Kenya hit the market.

The steady supply has also been boosted by enhanced imports from Tanzania and Uganda, which have supplemented the local stocks.

“There is an increase in supply right now in the market because of the short-season crop that we are getting coupled with cross-border imports,” said Aggarwal Atin, chief executive officer of Trident Millers.

Mr Atin said they are now paying between Ksh4,800 and Ksh5,000 for a 90-kilo bag of maize, down from Ksh5,800 in May.

Rajan Shah, the chief executive officer of Capwel Industries said his firm is buying a 90-kilo bag at Sh5,200 when delivered to Nairobi, which is lower than Sh5,900 that they paid previously for the same quantity.

The prices are projected to decline further in the coming months when Kenya’s main harvesting season in the North Rifts starts in October.

Kenya is expecting a bumper harvest this year after the government lowered the cost of fertiliser from Sh6,000 last year to Sh3,000 for a 50-kilogramme bag, a move that has boosted productivity at the farm level.

Declining prices will ease pressure on inflation, coming as a major relief to consumers who are currently grappling with high costs of other things such as electricity and fuel.