Nairobi News


Why price of unga will continue going up

Kenyans will soon be forced to dig deeper into their pockets to buy maize flour. This follows a warning by various millers in the country.

The millers who supplied affordable unga under the subsidy programme in retired President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government have now lamented about delayed payment.

The companies are now saying Kenyans should be prepared to buy the commodity at a higher price as they plan to begin their operation.

The United Grain Millers association, through their chair, Ken Nyaga, have said they are contemplating increasing prices of maize flour.

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Mr Nyaga said some millers are now unable to continue with their normal operations because they lack funds to buy maize whose price has gone up.

“Some small scale millers have shut down, while others have slowed down on operations because they cannot afford to buy maize,” said Nyaga.

“We are looking at a very hard time when we do not have money because this money is owned by the government expecting us to buy and bring the cost of flour down,” he said.

In July 2022, the State capped the price of a 2kg packet of maize flour at Sh100 after talks with millers, making it the fifth stimulus package since Covid-19 started in March 2020.

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President Kenyatta promised to compensate millers for their services, a dream that never came true.

In early March 2023, the National Assembly declined to approve payment of over Sh2.9 billion arrears owed to the millers who took part in the subsidy programme, citing non-disclosure of the exact quantity of maize flour supplied.

Members of Parliament, through the National Assembly Budget Appropriation Committee also questioned the non-disclosure of the retail stores used to supply the subsidised unga to Kenyan consumers for the duration.

Consequently, the MPs asked the Auditor General to audit the records of the subsidy programme to shed more light on obscure records. Currently the price of a 2kg packet of unga is ranging between Sh190 to Sh210.

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