Market Update 04-16-19
The price of maize has continued to rise over the past two weeks, and is now trading at Sh2,600/90kg in Eldoret and slightly higher at Sh2,700/90kg in Nairobi, Thika and Nakuru. Overall, the Kenyan maize markets have reached 3-year highs as the effects of a maize shortage in the market have continued to send prices higher. The elevated maize prices have impacted the greater market as maize flower is now retailing for Sh109/2kg and animal feed prices have risen as well. Additionally, millers have increased prices from Sh1,800/90kg to a range of Sh2,500-Sh2,700/90kg which is now in line with the government prices.
While the price of pigeon peas have remained relatively consistent, trading at Sh5,400/90kg in Nakuru, Thika and Nairobi, the price of green grams have realized upward pressure over the past two weeks. Green grams are now trading at Sh6,800/90kg in Eldoret, Sh7,200/90kg in Nairobi and Thika, and as high as Sh7,400/90kg in Nakuru.
A food crisis is on the minds of many Kenyan citizens, especially after the Kenyan Meteorological Department deputy director, Mr. Bernard Chanzu, announced that there is no immediate rainfall on the horizon. The delayed onset of the long rains season can be contributed to tropical cyclone Idai which impacted Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe and diverted precipitation from the East Africa region. Further, Kenya has realized elevated land surface temperatures in northwestern, northeastern and eastern areas of the country leading to deteriorating vegetation conditions. Although precipitation throughout Kenya has been below historical averages, it is expected that rain between the months of May and August will be above average in areas of western Kenya and the Rift Valley.
The price of maize has increased throughout the country over the past two weeks and is now currently trading at UGX 1,120/kg in the Greater Kampala area, and UGX 1,050/kg in Mubende and Kigumba. The increase in prices are attributable to hot and dry conditions that have prevailed throughout the country despite earlier predictions that March-May rainy season would start in the last week of February. In other agriculture markets, soybeans are trading at UGX 2,700/kg in Kampala as many animal feed processors are looking for both domestic and import options. In Mubende, nambale beans and red kidney beans are trading at UGX 2,700/kg and UGX 2,800 respectively.
New technology to clean alfatoxins from grain
Uganda historically loses more than $38 million, the equivalent of Sh140 billion, due to the inability to
export grains due to aflatoxin content. In 2013 alone, more than 600,000 tons of maize worth Sh10 billion destined for Kenya was rejected because they contained traces of aflatoxin. To solve this challenge, a new technology called the Toxin Scrub has been introduced which neutralizes mycotoxins in grains and is expected to boost exports and reduce cancer contamination.
Health Ministry replaces Super Cereal Blended flour
The Health Ministry has replaced Super Cereal maize blended flour with Super Cereal Plus and Ready- to- use Supplementary Food (RUSF) packs and sachets. The move follows the suspension of the distribution of Super Cereal flour by the World Food Programme (WFP) last month. The suspension was announced on March 16 when hundreds of people in Amudat and Napak districts developed health complications after eating the flour.