WFP Kenya Country Office: Markets Watch | COVID-19 Supply Chain and Markets Update (16 October 2020)

Situation Report
Originally published


Economic Conditions

Kenya currency exchange rate: The Kenya shilling continued to record historic lows against the US Dollar pointing to a rise in the cost of importing goods into the country in the short term. As of 13 October, the Central Bank of Kenya mean indicative exchange rate is at 108.5 to the Dollar. This exchange rate is KES 6.13 weaker (6.0%) compared to the rate on 13 March when the first COVID-19 case was reported in the country.

Farmgate and Wholesale Price Trends

WFP continues to actively contribute to the food security and price monitoring efforts of the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives leadership which aims to alleviate risks associated with rising food insecurity in the context of COVID-19. WFP continues to engage with the Council of Governors and Agriculture and Trade committee for food security and market updates.

Farmgate and Wholesale Prices

The Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA), through the Cereal Growers Association, monitors farmgate and wholesale maize, potato, rice, sorghum and green gram prices across 18 counties.

Weekly Price Trends – Main updates and changes through the week ending 11 October Maize prices, both farmgate and wholesale, have reduced or remained stable (as shown in Table 1). The ongoing harvests in Solai town in Nakuru County, Laikipia, Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia counties, all of which are breadbasket, have brought maize surplus. The gradual re-opening of the Kenya-Uganda border contributed to the increase of maize availability as Uganda is the main regional supply origin of white maize grain.

In Homabay county, maize prices for both farmgate and wholesale have increased between 13% to 22% because of the increased demand from schools ahead of schools’ re-opening. Meru and Nyandarua counties have also recorded a price increase of 7% and 6% respectively in wholesale prices due to increased demand brought about by the influx of many buyers in the markets, including schools.

Potato prices have continued to record an increase in prices between 7% to 64% for both farmgate and wholesale prices as of 11 October. This is due to the increase in demand from buyers against reduced supplies as the commodity’s harvesting period has come to an end.

Green grams: No change in prices compared to the previous week ending 4 October. Demand and supply levels remained stable; there were no stocks held by farmers as the commodity is out of season.

Sorghum: There was no change in price compared to the previous week ending 4 October. Most buyers continue to purchase white sorghum from the monitored counties, anticipating supplying the East African Malting Limited.

Rice: Overall, no major changes in price compared to the previous week ending 4 October. The high price in Kisumu county is attributed to the reduced supply of rice from the recently concluded harvest