Brokers, levies push up food prices to the roof
President’s advisor on food security James Nyoro says fish brokerage is very high to an extend that imports are cheaper
The cost of basic food items has significantly gone up due to increased cess charges in the 47 counties and brokerage fees, a new report suggested yesterday.
The report by Kenya Market Trust indicated that consumers are bearing the heavy burden of cess on farm produce. The hardest hit produce include maize, vegetables, milk and fish.
According to Chris Shimba from the Kenya Market Trust, it costs Sh150 to put a plate of ugali and sukuma wiki on the table. About 37 per cent of this goes into transporting the produce from the farm to the table.
Simba put the total cost on consum- ers for a typical meal of ugali, sukuma wiki, beef, onions and tomatoes at Sh690. Out of this, he added, 34 per cent caters for transportation cost, while18 per cent of the cost goes into broker’s fee.
He added that to have the same meal but with fish will cost the consumer Sh710, with 27 per cent which translates to about Sh150 being taken by brokers. The cess report released in Nairobi by KMT indicated that brokerage costs in fish marketing are higher at 52 per cent than transport costs at 26 per cent.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s advisor on food security James Nyoro said fish brokerage in the country is very high to an extent that importing is cheaper.
The report also showed that brokerage and road blocks which both account for 16 per cent of the cost are great contributors to the high livestock distribution costs. Traportation of livestock accounts for 31 per cent, the report states.
“While transport is the highest contributor to milk distribution costs at 26 per cent, storage cost is quite high at 22 per cent of the total cost,” it adds.
While launching the report, Industry, Trade and Co-operatives CS Adan Mohamed said the ministry is working with the 47 counties to create an enabling environment to promote investment and productivity.
“Counties have introduced cess charges for products moving between counties and refused to accept permits issued by other counties,” Kenya Markets Trust chief executive Kamau Kuria said. “This has led to double taxation thus increased cost of transportation leading to high cost of products.”