Consumers’ pain as price of unga rises on maize shortage
Unga Limited has raised maize flour prices by Sh9 a packet following a shortage of grains, a move that will raise pressure on inflation and hurt household budgets.
A two-kilo packet of Jogoo, a brand of the Nairobi Securities Exchange listed miller, will retail at Sh110, having shot from Sh101 just two days ago.
Unga is the market leader in flour processing and its move look set to trigger rival firms to raise their prices.
Flour prices have maintained a steady rise since start of the year during which time the cost of the 90kg bag increased by Sh400 to Sh2,700 as at the start of the month.
Jogoo retailed at Sh90 last Friday before increasing to Sh101 on Monday, meaning the product has increased its price by Sh19 in a week or 21 percent.
The government has cited hoarding of maize for the price jump, arguing the country has enough grains after a bumper harvest last year.
“There is enough maize in the country at the moment that can last up to July, we are aware of the events surrounding flour prices but we shall be issuing a comprehensive statement on that soon,” said Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri. Maize harvest hit 40.9 million bags last year, reflecting a 20 percent rise that was expected to deliver cheaper flour.
Other brands such as Soko are selling at Sh111, up from Sh109 on Friday with Kifaru selling at Sh105.
“We are hardly getting stocks from farmers even with increased price of Sh2,700 for a 90 kilo bag,” said Rajan Shah, chief executive officer Capwell Limited, makers of Soko Unga.