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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Will Maize Prices Come Crashing Down Like A Sack of Potatoes?

Kenyan potato farmers lose millions after bumper harvest prompts price crash. Will maize follow?

My late dad must be turning in his grave with delighted surprise at the heights the price of maize has climbed to and feeling more than a little sad that what he had predicted and waited for, for so many years finally came to pass barely months after his final exit from this world (or as a friend so eloquently likes putting it—just months after hard drive crashed beyond restoration).
Yep, my dad was a serious maize farmer in his twilight years and loved every minute of it. But for years he struggled with the problem of maize politics which hungrily swallowed up his huge capital investment in his shambas and prevented him from enjoying the rewards of a good profit that surely every farmer deserves. I mean farming is extremely hard, and potentially back-breaking work.

Over the years every time it looked like prices of maize were snaking upwards the government would import plenty of iot and the prices would durifully come tumbling down.

It is because I can identify with the farmer on this one that I get sick of reading regular reports in the media calling for the prices of this basic commodity to drop down “back to sane levels.” So if I may ask what are the sane levels? Levels at which a farmer can hardly recoup his investment from planting the crop? And as I am sure most of my readers do not know, maize is even harder work than most other crops because after you have harvested you still have to get the grain out of the cob and then dry and preserve.

Admittedly Kenyans consume too much maize for the crop not to be political. And that is why the government has always been very nervous whenever prices of this basic commodity have threatened to head north. And yet in the same breadth the GOK (Government of Kenya) still wants to praise the long suffering local farmer for their resilience. Now it seems that patience has run out in farmers and the result is that many have opted to plant other more profitable crops. This is part of the contributing factor to the rapid climb of maize prices in recent times.

But let us not dwell too much on the past because the main concern for most, even as I sense your alarm after reading my last paragraph, is what the future holds for maize prices.

Just a few hours ago one of my informants in Western Kenya informed me that there is currently plenty of maize in Busia and it is selling at the throw-away price of Kshs 3/- per single maize cob. Sadly logistics do not make it viable for that maize to come to the rescue of millers on the verge of closing shop due to lack of maize supplies in places like Eldoret. Or in Kisumu where a bag of dry maize is now approaching the Kshs 5,000 mark. Don’t even mention distant Nairobi where there is the highest consumption of this commodity and all it’s byproducts but which is way too far from Busia. Busia is on the border with neighbouring Uganda.

The truth is that there is really no good news for the consumer. All the good news is for the long suffering maize farmer. There are many clues to suggest that the price is not coming down any time soon. The crash that has been witnessed with potato prices will definitely not be replicated with maize. One of the clear signals that prices are not coming down any time soon is the fact that the maize being imported to alleviate the big shortage in the country is said to have a Mombasa landing price of about kshs 3,700 per 90 kg bag.

The next harvest is expected in August and so September will be the month to study prices carefully in order to establish what the future may hold.

And so I repeat my advice to all you dear readers out there to venture out of the concrete jungle that is Nairobi and go into farming rather than keep hoping that the prices of Unga (produced from maize) will drop soon. I don’t see it happening.

Top ten maize producers in the world in 2009

Country Production (tonnes)

United States 333,010,910
China 163,118,097
Brazil 51,232,447
Mexico 20,202,600
Indonesia 17,629,740
India 17,300,000
France 15,299,900
Argentina 13,121,380
South Africa 12,050,000
Ukraine 10,486,300

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16 comments:

Mwarang'ethe said...

Over the years every time it looked like prices of maize were snaking upwards the government would import plenty of iot and the prices would durifully come tumbling down.

xxx

This is not an accidental policy. It is the policy of our friend, the USA and its wings, the IMF and WB.

Simply, the function of these bodies was to ensure EXPORT of American agri. products, and especially grains. So, we are now reaping the fruits of what our dear friend wanted all along. Now, since we are vulnerable, we can accept all their agendas. These guys are very smart.

You see, under WTO, IMF, WB, Kenya must engage in exports. To do so, Kenyans must be diverted into flower, tea, coffee farming etc.

The question is, if we do not farm these cash crops, where will our foreign currency come from?

Well, our friends the IMF. You know the conditions that will come along will drive us further more into cash crops which we do not eat. Talk of a nation caught up and its leaders have no idea what to do. We need DRASTIC changes.

All you to bear in mind is this. We are in the age of so called common/open markets. Their REAL meaning is this:

(a) It only means that the common people in the interior (like your dad/farmers) who produce the wealth, are not permitted to enjoy it.

(b) The fruits of their
labour, enterprise, and skill are taken away from them by tampering
with the terms of trade, and made available to a parasitic population
in metropolitan centres like Nairobi; or,

(c) worse still, the common people in the interior are forced or lured to produce not what they need for themselves but what a parasitic urban population requires for a life of profligacy and waste.

In other words, when it comes to rural people and the idlers in the towns, governments, always, fearing revolutions, have favoured idlers.

Unfortunately, this policy drives the whole nation into economic mess for all we do is multiply CONSUMERS who produce NOTHING, but, SPECULATE in land and papers.

Anonymous said...

Kenya Mps must pay taxes

sign petition at http://www.petitions24.com/kenya_mps_should_pay_tax#form

Mwarang'ethe said...

One more thing. We forgot to mention that, another source of foreign currency is HUMAN/SLAVES EXPORT.

In their Babylonian langauge, they call it DIASPORA. You see, as economies get messed up, many young Kenyans/Africans are forced to immigrate in search of education and jobs.

When these HUMAN EXPORTS send back a few £ and $ to help their folks back,our governments in the pockets of the IMF, WB, etc, are very excited.

As such, in the twisted Babylonian logic, remittances by the HUMAN EXPORTS is now lauded as a very good thing. If you check with Uhuru, they are setting some mechanism for tapping these foreign currencies from their HUMAN EXPORT.

The fact that, HUMAN EXPORT is detrimental in the long run, is now forgotten as we search for every $ we can get.

However, since HUMAN EXPORT to the West is proving a bit tricky, we are going HIGHER. In this HIGHER GRADE, we are exporting DOMESTIC WORKERS.

To ensure that, these DOMESTIC WORKER/SLAVES EXPORTS are treated well by Saudi Arabian men/women, our ILLITERATE, IDIOTIC union leaders were signing some papers last week. Those who report "news" (nonsense) to us, saw nothing wrong with what we are doing.

You can see Atwoli and his gang here:

http://is.gd/QHHwcj

xxxxxxxxxx

And, should you think thats all, you are deluded. Recently, one HIGH PRIEST from the WB made some startling ADMISSIONS.

In his lecture, you will see the question of RACE and ECONOMICS. For instance, according to the HIGH PREIESTS, African will have:

- per capita income of mere $ 2 -3000 in 2030,

- that of China, India/Asia will be $ 30 - 40 k.

The implications of these PLANS are obvious. Wars, corruption, famines, genocide etc in Africa in the 21st Century.

You continue listening to Kibaki's and their Vision 2030 NONSENSE, at your own peril.

Unless we WAKE UP to the REALITY as opposed to CHILDISH FANTASIES and DELUSIONS which Africans are full of, this Century will be catastrophic for Africans in Africa and in the so called DIASPORA.

Listen to the HIGH PRIEST here:

http://is.gd/gIZb3W

xxxx

Anyway, we are off to read the Assyrian conquest of Jerusalem and how they drove the Jews into DIASPORA, as we listen to Harvest Time by Don Carlos:

http://is.gd/ZG8Gz9

Anonymous said...

And they are now grabbing land (like what Raila is doing in Malindi) in Kenya and elsewhere (financed by the IMF, IFC, HedgeFunds, Pension Funds, European banks, US banks etc) to grow food, feedstock and fuels for the global market.

They are displacing people from the land that they grow maize and other food crops on. People are losing access to land and food security is increasing.

Mta do?

M. Pesa said...

Mwau fakes his own death: A story so incredible that you will want to roll and die in laughter!

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Gunmen+open+fire+at+MP+Mwau+car/-/1064/1188228/-/fxnl31z/-/index.html

Anonymous said...

Molasses raila was back in malindi fighting to keep the land he took away from squatters just few days after meeting balala and coast wazees to beg for their votes. I remember him promising the coast suffering Mwanaisha's that once elected he will make their problems go away..duh!!!

No wonder Mwarangethe always refers to us as deluded. How do Kenyans reconcile the actions and the words of this buffoon? Why is he followed so blindly even by those in diaspora like the morons in Jukwaa??

Anonymous said...

As usual the opportunist parasitic blogger - Mwarang'ethe, has jumped guns blazing to teach us about good old Big Brother ( read USA) and its Mahindi choma ways.

Well let me chew Katumani till my teeth fall off, then Prof, can jaza the pengos. Am out

Anonymous said...

LOL! @ Anon 6.21 am

Anonymous said...

@Kumekucha,
Where there is a need, there is an opportunity to develop a potatoe processing plant that would prevent the bumper harvest from going to waste, year after year while millions of ordinary Kenyans die of hunger.

The precious potatoe can be processed into many other products and byproducts with a long shell life.

Believe it or not, there are factories in Colombia, Equador, Hunduras and other South American countries that process the cassava (yuca, manioc, mihongo et al) into various endible foods.

A commercial avenue that has prevented the loss of the crop and income for farmers, traders and consumers due to its bountifulness in the region as was the sad case in previous decades.

Ever heard of or tasted mandazi, chapati, bread, ugali, porridge, cereal (yes breakfast cereal), biscuits, spaghetti, scones, cup cakes, yogurt, and many other types of confectionaries made from cassava?

The products are all made in South American countries where the demand is so high because someone somehow saw the need and ended up creating a steady supply of cassava products for the faithful consumers.

Someone out there, like Kumekucha and company, should seek ways and means for establishing similar facilities in Kenya and help mint some income from the bountiful harvest of potatoes that happens thrice a year.

Lest we forget similar wastage of various produce in the coastal region of Kenya, such as mountains of pinepples, mangoes, tomatoes, Jackfruit, cantaloupes, watermelon, mulberry, breadfruit, guavas, bananas, groundnuts (peanuts), passion fruit, pears, oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, gooseberries, coconuts, and at times the precious pomegranate that are left to go to waste year after year because of the gult, a suuden over supply that forces the prices of produce to tumble from 80% down to 10%.

@M-Pesa,
One in the nature of Harun Mwai should beware of what he's wishing for, or else he might as well get it sooner than later.

One of the reasons, why people like Harun Mwai who live in fogged glass houses should not spend their lives peacocking around for the sake of public sympathy or short lived drama.

The difficulty of Harun Mwai's type of games, if true, is not the complexity of its business concepts and side effects, but the seeming disconnect between the palpable threats of the dark world it displays and the "safe" world most people (dealers) like Harun Mwai inhabits.

The question is, what compromises have been made to secure such "safety"?

And with whom and at what cost to the country and general population in the long run?

Anonymous said...

Give credit where its due when the Mwarang'ethe of Kumekucha world touch on very sensitive topics such as HUMAN EXPORTS and the gross exploitation of those of us, pawns ("exports for labour markets"), that are most vulnerable in a country like Kenya as well as many other African countries.

Anonymous said...

Mwau, just like any other known drug distributor or their addicted customers the drug consumers, is now a hazard to public health, and has become a liability to the image and status of Kenya as well as to anyone else in whose presence he might take refuge and keep their company.

This unfortunately now includes his close family and loved ones such as his wife and children, and even the parents who birthed him into this earth. Interestingly enough if Obama had never named and shamed this narcotics kingpin he would no doubt have continued to maintain the illusion of his cover as a "rumoured but unconfirmed" drug dealer

And Kenyans would no doubt have considered voting him into senate/governorship/parliament/cabinet in the next elections! once again our help has come from outsiders in the form of the Americans

Anonymous said...

Why did Muhammad (Profit Moo-Ham-Mad) plagiarize the Bible... both the Old and New Testaments?

Anonymous said...

"Will Maize Prices Come Crashing Down Like A Sack of Potatoes?"

This question should be addressed to raila. His thug son stole the maize.

YES, Raila's thuggery son stole maize meant for starving wanachi!!

Anonymous said...

Chris, how many acres was the maize farm? I can assure that maize prices will not drop to abysmal level.

The only issue Kenyans will have to watch out for and deal with as it unfolds, will be the importation of maize into Kenya and re-exportation of the same to Southern Sudan, Somalia, Eretria, Ethipia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The maize cartel are doing a very lucrative business that has become the real envy of their counterparts in the narcotic drugs trade and human trafficking.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know of the outcome of raila-waldorf astoria- odinga's court case? He looked rather nifty in a white shirt (safi kama pamba) only dripping sweat like a.....farm animal.

Anonymous said...

UK asks central bank to get tough on banks messing the shilling. Leading banks in foreign exchange trde in kenya are KCB (treasury seats on board of directors),Citi bank and Commercial bank of √Āfrica (kenyattas major shareholders)

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