Basic Items Whose Prices Have Skyrocketed in a Month

  • Food items on display at a supermarket.
    Food items on display at a supermarket.
  • A report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that Kenyans are digging deeper into their pockets to afford basic food commodities.

    This is after the retail prices for basic food items shot up sharply in the month of July compared to June.

    According to the report, the prices of carrots, loose maize grain and non-aromatic white rice increased by 13 per cent, 9.7 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively.

    Customers queueing at a supermarket in Kenya
    Customers queueing at a supermarket in Kenya

    The data showed that the prices of beans, green grams, sukuma wiki (kales), beef, and cabbage also increased significantly.

    The cost of living in the country remained at a five-year high as the rate of inflation in July went up to 8.3 per cent from 7.8 per cent in June on rising food costs.

    The KNBS data showed that food prices surged by 15.3 per cent in a year for the period under review and by 1.1 per cent from the month of June.

    The inflation gap has seen Kenyans forced to spend more in order to put a meal on the table.

    The report showed that food items had the most worrying prices in the month of July despite the fuel subsidy implemented by the government to cushion Kenyans against the high cost of living.

    The subsidy included the government's move to lower Value Added Tax (VAT) on Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) from 16 to 8 per cent.

    The cost of refilling a 13-kilogram LPG cylinder, for instance, fell by 16.7 per cent to an average of Ksh3,101 in July from Ksh3,218 in June.

    However, there is a glimpse of hope for Kenyans as the price of 50 watts of electricity is retailing at Ksh796.83 compared to Ksh837.18 in the previous year.

    Kenyans shop at a local Nairobi supermarket.
    Kenyans shop at a local Nairobi supermarket.
    Daily Nation

    A recent consumer report showed that Kenyans were forced to cut costs on ‘luxuries’ as the price of petrol continued to rise month-after-month.

    The increase in fuel prices, the pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine row, affected other basic commodities such as wheat flour which is retailing at Ksh230.