Kenya puts price cap on maize flour to protect consumers after subsided maize comes to an end

The only white maize flour brand retailing at between Sh149 and Sh154 is Unga Group’s premium brand Hostess.

On Wednesday, Agriculture secretary Willy Bett said the government would step in with strict measures, which he did not specify to tame millers who charge exorbitant prices.

“Most millers are buying maize at around Sh2,700 so the cost of flour should never go beyond Sh115 because the amount of money we are paying as government is Sh3,200,” Mr Bett said.

Mr.Bett argued that the government was buying maize for Sh3,200 ($32) per 90 kilogramme bag yet millers were getting the same at a much lower price therefore they could not justify their over prized maize flour.

And it seems millers have decided to toe the line and comply complied with a government directive.

A spot check within several Nairobi’s central business district (CBD) revealed prices for most brands range between Sh108 and Sh114 ($1.1) a packet.

The only white maize flour brand retailing at between Sh149 and Sh154 is Unga Group’s premium brand Hostess.

Naivas chief operating officer Willy Kimani said retailers are getting the commodity from millers at a range of between Sh100 ($1) and Sh107 a packet.

“I have a confidentiality agreement with my supplier, so I can’t give you the exact price,” said Mr Kimani.

The price cap comes after the six month subsidized maize flour by the government came to an end on the eve of the New Year.

The subsidy cut the price of a 90-kilogramme bag of maize to Sh2,300 ($23)  from above Sh4,000 ($40), allowing the two kilogramme packet of flour to be sold for Sh90 against the market cost of Sh140.

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