Registrato: 09/12/17 02:15
|by Bedah Mengo
NAIROBI , July 25 (Xinhua) -- Maize and sugar prices in Kenya have dropped considerably as supplies improve following increased imports.
The decline in prices comes as a big relief to millions of consumers, who few weeks ago were suffocating under the weight of high cost of the commodities due to low supplies, making the government introduce subsidies.
A 2kg tin of dry maize is currently retailing at an average of 1 U.S. dollar from a high of 1.5 dollars in May.
On the other hand, a 90kg bag of the commodity is being sold at 38 dollars down 46 dollars about two months ago.
Similarly, a 2kg packet of sugar is currently being sold at 1.1 dollars, down from 2 dollars in May following the importation of the commodity from Comesa region.
A government subsidy that followed the importation of duty-free maize has helped bring the cost of maize flour to a low of 0.09 dollars, with supply of the commodity which was recently hard to come by steadying.
While farmers who planted early in some parts of the country have started harvesting their maize, what has stabilized the prices are increased imports from Zambia and neighbouring Tanzania.
Kenya was set to import up to 3 million bags of maize between May and July to ease the severe shortage.
However, by end of August, the ministry of agriculture is targeting to ship in up to 5 million bags of the commodity. Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said last week maize supply would normalize in a fortnight.
"Things are a little better now because the subsidized maize flour is now readily available in supermarkets. I am no longer worried of where I will get my next supply," said Nairobi resident Tom Ogola on Tuesday.
Ogola noted that while initially a shopper was restricted to buying a packet or two of the subsidized flour, one is now allowed to buy up to four packets of the commodity.
A spot check on Tuesday in different retail outlets in Nairobi indicated that the government branded subsidized flour is in plenty of supply in the shops.
At a branch of Tuskys Supermarket in the city centre, the outlet had tens of packets of the subsidized maize flour, with shoppers buying the packets they need.
"Right now there is no scramble for the commodity. In fact we stopped restricting customers on the packets they should buy since Sunday evening," said an attendant.
A similar scenario was replicated at Naivas supermarket where a variety of maize brands and sugar were available to the delight of consumers.
Shopkeepers and posho mills in Kenyan suburbs which have been struggling finding the commodity also have plenty of stocks.
However, unlike supermarkets, they are selling each 2kg packet at about 1 dollar, which 0.01 dollars higher than the recommended price.
"I bought two bundles of maize flour the other day though the product is not moving as fast as I would wish because of the cost. But as traders we are happy," said Grace Mutuku, a shopkeeper in Komarock on the east of Nairobi.
Kenya consumes up to 4 million bags of maize every month, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. Maize production, however, has been on the decline due to the various challenges that include erratic weather.
Production has dropped from a peak of 42 million bags in 2015 and is expected to hit a seven-year low of 28 million bags this year.
But as imports rise, farmers are not a happy lot since they may not find market for their produce as harvesting starts in September.
"The government allowed duty free importation of maize which will flood the market and hurt farmers. Last year farmers sold a bag of maize at 30 dollars but this year due to the imports, this may come to even 25 dollars," said Bernard Moina, an agricultural extension officer in Kitale, a breadbasket region.
TOKYO, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo stocks opened higher Friday as the market mood was buoyed by U.S. shares' advancing overnight.
As of 9:15 a.m, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average gained 44.53 points, or 0.22 percent, from Thursday to 20,144.34.
The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, added 5.44 points, or 0.34 percent, to 1,624.55.
Bank, rubber product and transportation equipment-related stocks comprised those that gained the most in early trade.
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""This Is Us"" fans finally got the answer to the question they've been asking since season one: How does Jack die?
The sad fate of Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) was revealed to fans in a traumatic final scene on Tuesday night's episode.
Jack is seen cleaning the kitchen for his wife, Rebecca (Mandy Moore), who is fast asleep after watching the Super Bowl with him. He turns off the slow cooker not realizing it has a faulty switch. Moments after he goes to bed the kitchen bursts into flames after a dish towel catches fire from sparks from the kitchen appliance.
Immediately following the show Twitter erupted into a hysterical frenzy among the show's fans.
Even Sterling K. Brown, who plays Randall Pearson, tweeted, ""Genuinely asking. Are you okay??? #ThisIsUs.""
One fan tweeted: ""I wonder if the @ThisIsUsWriters were sobbing writing this episode as much as I'm sobbing watching it #thisisus.""
While another fan wrote, ""yeah so i .