NCPB and millers price war pushes up maize flour price (Kenya)

By Brian Ngugi | Business Daily, Kenya January 3, 2017

Maize farmers are profiting from price rivalry between the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) and millers in what has failed to cut flour prices in the months after harvests.

Most millers and middlemen are buying a 90-kilogramme bag at Sh3, 200 to attract farmers after the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) increased its price to Sh3, 000.

While farmers are benefiting from the price wars, households have not gained from the maize harvest since flour prices have remained little changed since August.

“The cost of maize remains high following the move by the government to fix the price. This simply means that flour will remain at the current prices for long,” said a statement from the Cereal Millers Association.

The cost of maize drops during harvesting in the North Rift, the country’s breadbasket. NCPB has Sh6 billion for buying maize this season, up from less than Sh3 billion.

Millers have traditionally bought a bag of maize at about Sh2,000 in the weeks that follow the harvest season, passing down the cost cutting benefit with the two-kilogramme packet of flour retailing for less than Sh100.

Cost of food is major driver of inflation in a country that relies on maize as a staple food. But farmers for now maize are happy.

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