Farmers warn of rise in food prices

Drought has worsened the current situation

In Summary

• Unga is currently costing Sh230

• Assorted flour has run out of market

The Agricultural Employers Association (AEA) says consumers should brace for higher food prices in coming days.

The association said that with the ongoing drought coupled with a rise in the cost of farm inputs, farmers had no other choice but to adjust prices accordingly to break even.

This comes just as the government subsidy on maize flour comes to an end.  The subsidy worsened the situation as it led to an acute shortage in the country 

According to the associations's chief executive Wesley Siele, the failed rains had affected many large and small scale farmers in the county’s food basket.

He noted that as a result, some farmers had failed to plant in time while others were grappling with the high prices of fertilisers and pesticides.

“The country is facing an acute food shortage and this will get worse in the coming days if we don’t get the expected rains,” he said.

Siele said that many of the large-scale farmers did not benefit from the subsidised fertiliser which ran out of stock a month after the government introduced it to the market.

He added that the situation has been worsened by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine leading to an acute shortage of fertiliser.

“Currently flower farmers are facing an acute shortage of calcium nitrate fertiliser which is critical in production,” he said.

The CEO further added that they are in the dark over the importation of duty free maize as promised by the State last month.

“Maize is critical in the production of animal feeds and we are still in the dark on the status of the duty free maize that was promised by the government,” he said.

Earlier, small scale maize millers in Nakuru County accused the government of locking them out of importing duty free maize and the just ended maize flour subsidy.

According to the association chairman Samuel Waweru, the subsidy system introduced by the State was infective and favoured some millers.

He noted that the only solution in future lay in the government providing cheap maize at NCPB stores where the millers would buy, sift and sell it at cheap prices.


WATCH: The latest videos from the Star