Am just wondering, I heard somewhere that our Maize consumption is about 40 million bags per year. That the projected quantity for last year’s harvest which is still ongoing in some few places is 30 million bags .

maize farming in kenya
Credit: CIMMYT

That we required to import 10 million bags in order to seal the deficit .

That the importation will bring down the price of Unga significantly, maybe to 100 Bob or there about .

At the moment farmers are selling maize at between ksh 4200 to 4500 per 90 kgs bag which has come down from ksh 4800.

NB. Harvesting of maize started in September and its now coming to an end .

Assuming that about 25 million bags have been harvested so far and about 5 million remaining , without any significant drop in price of unga , how is the expected 10 million bags expected to land in February going to have any significant impact on price of unga which hasnt yet been felt from the 25 million bags or so already harvested ?

In my view , going by observation of how things are and my knowledge on the law of demand and supply which shift the price either up or down , the maize consumption in kenya is to the tune of 60 million bags annually which those in the know do not seem to be aware of .

Why do I say so ?

The population has gone up steadily to 50 million plus , arable land area is decreasing at alarming rate as a result of growth of real estates, towns and other infrastructures , livestock population has gone up due to demand for meat ,milk and eggs which puts more pressure on maize as it is a key ingredient in animal feeds .

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In summary, maize is slowly becoming a cash crop and its nolonger that other crop that is associated to poverty.

Just listen into these streets and take note of how quiet the maize farmers are because there is too much money in their pockets as a result of high prices . Even at a low production of 20 bags per acre , a farmer pockets 90k which dwarfs the high cost of inputs and leaves a decent net . And that’s why they are quiet . ( Ruรฎ ruiyuru rutire inegene) this is “French” which means . All is well in English

My advice to anyone who has idle money in the bank , March season is coming , look for land in Transzoia, Uasin Gishu ,Nakuru etc and go into either wheat or maize growing . You may ask why ?
And this is why , the lowest price that maize will ever go to is ksh 3500 whether the drought come to an end or not because suddenly maize is now an upgraded crop

Compiled by: David Ndegwa

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