Kenya’s maize prices remain high due to below-average local cereal production in 2022 and reduced imports from Uganda. Expensive fuel further inflates production and transport costs, increasing food prices. This is according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
April 2023 Sees Significant Price Increase
In April 2023, the average price of a 90kg bag of maize was Sh6,400 (Sh71/kg), showing a 50-80 percent increase compared to the previous year.
Regional Variations in Price Trends
Nakuru and Eldoret markets in Rift Valley Province experienced a seasonal increase of 10-15 percent in maize prices from February to April 2023. Nairobi saw a roughly 30 percent rise during the same period.
Southeastern and Coastal Areas Witness Price Surge
Between February and April 2023, regions like Kitui, Makueni, Kwale, and Lamu counties observed a 20-50 percent price increase, reaching levels 45-75 percent higher than the previous year.
Pastoral Areas Suffer Due to Poor Harvests and Increased Demand
Maize prices in pastoral areas in April were 25-75 percent above the previous year’s levels due to poor local harvests in 2022 and increased demand for animal feed caused by severe pasture shortages until March 2023.
Improved Pasture and Water Availability Boost Livestock Prices
Better pasture and increased water availability between March and late May led to a 15-65 percent increase in livestock prices. Livestock body condition improved by 10 to 45 percent compared to the previous year’s low values.
Cereal Prices Outpace Livestock Prices
Cereal prices have risen more sharply than livestock prices in the past year.
Worsening Livestock-to-Cereal Trade Terms for Pastoralists
The terms of trade between livestock and cereals for pastoralists worsened in the last 12 months, being 5-30 percent lower in April 2023 compared to the previous year. In Samburu County, a medium-sized goat’s maize equivalent decreased from 47 kg in April 2022 to 40 kg in April 2023.