RISING COST OF LIVING

Maize prices unaffordable, must be lowered

Prices of several foodstuffs were significantly higher during the month under review

In Summary

• In the last few weeks, all maize flour brands have so far crossed the Sh120 per two-kilo packet mark.

• Currently most of the agricultural commodities are technically left to the free market forces of supply and demand to set their prices.

The country’s inflation has risen to 4.95 per cent from 3.83 per cent in September, latest figures from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics show.

The KNBS attributes the increase in October to higher food prices, which have led to a costlier food basket altogether.

In the last few weeks, all maize flour brands have so far crossed the Sh120 per two-kilo packet mark.Meantime, maize is rotting in fields due to heavy rain.

 
 

Kenya’s maize consumption has been going up over the years with the current rate standing at 4.2 million bags a month, up from three million previously.

The government can decide to protect the consumers in times of shortages when prices become too high for most consumers to afford.

In Kenya before market liberalisation in 1994, the government set farm-gate prices and consumer prices for all basic agricultural commodities like maize, maize meal, sugarcane, sugar, wheat grains, wheat flour, bread, milk and milk products and so on.

Currently, most of the agricultural commodities are technically left to the free market forces of supply and demand to set their prices.

However, in the case of maize, which is the staple food in Kenya, government intervention in pricing mechanism is still accepted and expected as normal. It is also necessary.

 

Quote of the Day: “Relentlessly strive to come up with new and better products and produce them more efficiently than the alternatives.”

 

Charles Koch   

The American businessman was born on November 1, 1935.