Loaders carrying maize . Kenyans are turning to Cheap maize from Uganda. Photo by The Star.
Kenyan consumers and traders are moving into Uganda in search of cheap dry maize to mitigate the effects of the consistent shortage that has caused the rise of the cost of the product despite the recently announced government subsidy.
Besides the smuggling from the neighbouring country, which is one of the biggest importers of Kenya’s products, records show that at least 2,790.98 metric tonnes of maize moved from Uganda to Kenya in the past six days.
This has been the trend for the past few months as Kenya started experiencing hunger.
According to the Regional Agricultural trade Intelligence Network, RATIN, the tonnes of maize were imported between May 17, 2017 and May 22, 2017.
The border of Busia was the main entry point into Kenya while Malaba and Lukhakhwa also handled a few tonnes.
The wholesale price of maize in Uganda tons is generally cheaper than in Kenya.
Maize is cheapest in Masindi town, where it is costing Sh3,969 per 90kg bag on wholesale. The retail price in the same town is Sh4,097.
The same quantity is selling at Sh4,087 on wholesale in the Ugandan side of the shared town of Busia. The retail price is Sh4,610.
In Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, the 90kg bag is selling at Sh4,225 on wholesale. In Soroti and Tororo, the maize is selling at Sh4,097 and Sh4,353, according to RATIN.
On average, the cost of 90kg bag in Kenya is costing Sh4,858, according to Soko Directory.
Kitui is paying the highest wholesale price for the commodity, hitting Sh5,500 while Nakuru is buying at Sh5,000.
Kisumu and Mombasa are paying Sh5,200 and Sh5,000 respectively even as Eldoret hits Sh4,500.
Nairobi and Kitale are buying the bag at Sh4,800 and Sh4,500 respectively.
The government of Kenya in the mid of May, 2017 announced a subsidy to millers, effectively reducing that cost of 2kg packet of maize flour from Sh160 to Sh90.
More than a week after the waiver, the subsidised maize flour is yet to reach consumers both in urban and rural areas even with the importation of the produce from Mexico.