A farmer with various bean types. Beans have equally grown in price although the attention is on maize in Kenya. Photo by CIAT.
Although the attention has been sustained on the rising maize cost due to the ongoing shortage, the price of other gains and seeds have also gone up by between Sh700 to more than Sh1,700 for every 90kg bag from January to end of April.
A closer look into the beans for instance reveals that the wholesale cost of mwitemania variety rose by a margin of Sh1,716 in the four months under review. The bags was selling at Sh6,203 in January 2017. But by the end of April, 2017, it was selling at Sh7,919.
The mwitemania bean variety rise was the highest among the eight seeds and gains reviewed by the Agriculture and Food Authority – a department under the Ministry of Agriculture.
The price of rosecoco beans also shot from Sh6,815 to settle at Sh8,394, making a leap of Sh1,579.
Canadian beans came in third in the category after gaining Sh1,261 to settle at Sh7,922 from the initial Sh6,661.
READ ALSO: Steamed beans save cooking costs
READ ALSO: Exporter wants runner beans
Finger millet, which is commonly consumed as porridge after grinding into flour, also gained Sh1,172 shillings by the end of April from Sh6,584. Its common companion, sorghum gained Sh934 from Sh4,341.
Green grams and cow peas gained Sh766 and Sh831 from Sh9,159 and Sh6,935 respectively.
Beans are protein rich crops consumed by more than 400 million people in Africa.
The various varieties are consumed with maize grains after cooking together to form a mixed delicacy commonly called githeri, pure or nyoyo in Kenya.
As the price of maize also shot from Sh2,300 to the more than Sh4,800 in most parts of the country, there has been a shift to rice as the corn flour remains expensive to most families besides unavailability.
A 2kg pack of maize flour sells at between Sh140 and Sh180 at the moment. The government subsidised flour that is supposed to retail at Sh90 is hard to find.
Just like the beans, green grams and cowpeas also accompany the rice, which is relatively cheaper than maize.