A new survey has revealed that the cost of living is set to ease this month of February with a decline in most food items.
The CBK Agriculture survey says a majority of traders (61 percent) expect the retail prices of most staple food commodities such as cereals, grains, and vegetables to drop or remain unchanged in February as supply increases.
“The expected moderation of maize and wheat prices is on account of ongoing harvests in Kenya and Tanzania and the expected duty-free importation of maize and rice from February,” the survey noted.
The survey further states that the ongoing harvesting of rice in Mwea will moderate rice prices.
Groceries are expected to maintain or decline the prices of vegetables and non-vegetables attributed to the recent short rains.
The expected decline in staple food costs is expected to have a significant effect on the country’s inflation rate which hit a high of 9 percent in January.
However, increases in the cost of food, fuel, transport, housing, and other factors are the main drivers of the high inflation rate, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
The traders attributed the increase in the price of commodities to transport costs, input prices, and weather conditions.
The Ministry of Agriculture announced that traders will be allowed to import up to 900,000 tonnes of duty-free white maize and 600,000 of duty-free milled rice from February to August next year.
“This will enable the country to have adequate stocks to last until the next harvest from July to August 2023. The duty waiver shall apply to white maize and milled rice imported into the country by August 6, 2023, by millers and traders,” said the State Department for Crop Development.