As the country continues to grapple with skyrocketing prices of maize flour at the shops, residents of Kitengela have opted to source maize flour from Posho mills.
The government had launched a Sh 8 billion Unga subsidy programme last month to reduce the price of maize flour from Sh 220 to Sh 100 but the flour is rarely available at the shops.
A spot check by KNA in the town has revealed that many residents were now milling their maize following the increase in the price of maize flour at supermarkets and kiosks.
A two-kilogram packet of maize flour which was selling at Sh100 a month ago is now going for more than Sh170.
Cate Mumea, a maize miller in the town said that they have noted an increase in customers over the past few months as compared to before.
“The number of customers I get in a day has increased over the past few days because consumers are seeking a cheaper alternative to buying maize flour. We are currently selling 2-kg maize flour at Sh160 which is cheaper compared to the mark up price at retail shops that stands at between Sh200 to Sh250,” Mumea said.
Mumea noted that they tried to increase the price of a kilo of maize flour but customers would come up to her and ask her to reduce the price.
“We tried to increase the price of maize flour by Sh20 per kilo to make a little bit of profit but customers raised their concerns citing the high cost of living and hence we had to reduce the price. This has seen us just only recovering the amount we bought the maize at,” she added.
Pauline Ahuya, a consumer of maize meal said that she prefers to buy her maize flour from posho millers as the price is affordable and the pricing is consumer-friendly.
“From the elections, having to take children back to school and the high cost of living that we are facing, we look for the necessary means to save the extra coin and maize here is cheaper and it offers great quality,” Ahuya said.
The shortage has been attributed to a tiff between millers and retailers where millers have come up with new conditions which are not palatable for some retailers besides the drought and poor harvest pushing up the price of the commodity.
By Vivian Mbinya