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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Higher cross-border imports keep Kenyan maize prices low

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The cost of maize in Kenya has hit a new low as cheaper cross-border imports from Uganda and Tanzania swell.

The price of a 90-kg bag of dry maize in breadbasket regions of the Rift Valley and western has declined to an all-time low of 14 dollars, with farmers blaming the drop to cheaper imports, especially from Uganda.

On the other hand, a 2-kg pack of maize flour is currently being sold in retail outlets at between 0.85 dollars and 0.90 U.S. dollars, down from 1.1 dollars over a month ago.

Millers are currently among the biggest importers of maize from Uganda and Tanzania, where prices are as low as 12 dollars per 90kg bag, according to industry data.

Latest data from the East African Grain Council on cross-border imports showed that Kenyan traders are importing up to 1,000 metric tonnes (MT) of the staple a day.

Bernard Moina, an agricultural officer in Kitale, said this year, Kenyan consumers of the staple would enjoy lower prices because the country is expected to have a good harvest following heavy rains.

“But the farmers would suffer because prices are going to remain low and if the imports would continue, then growers would once again look at the government to buy their maize because the market would be ‘hostile’ to them,” he said.

             

 

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