Posho mills in Nairobi have for many years been associated with those with fairly shallow pockets – but not anymore, as many with fairly good means have joined the line.
The tough economic times is fast pushing the middle class in Nairobi to adopt creative ways to ensure their flour pots remain full, and their bellies – and those of their families well fed.
Indeed, prices of basic commodities have hit the roof in the past few months, with 2kgs of maize flour costing an astronomical Sh230 plus.
Many households in Nairobi have had to return to the posho mills – Nai Haps has learned.
Elizabeth Muthoni, a resident of Kasarani, a fairly middle-class estate, has never bought maize flour from the shops since the prices went up.
Instead, she buys maize in the market – before heading to the nearby posho mill to have it grounded.
“I find it better that way because I can buy a tin of maize for Sh150 and spend Sh30 on milling, the flour is also nutritious and heavy, which means a small piece of ugali is enough to fill a small stomach,” the mother of two told Wananchi Reporting.
Muthoni is not alone in the cost cutting mission. She says that some of her relatives, friends and neighbors have become regulars at the posho-mill.
A spot check by Nai Haps has now established that posho-mills are doing very well in other estates as well.
The electric maize grinding machines are now making inroads in some estates among them Mwiki, Imara Daima, Komarocks, Umoja, Kaloleni, Maringo and Mbotela among other places.
According to some millers, their machines are busy between 3pm all the way to 10pm in the evening.
Others like Ann prefers to buy maize flour from posho millers since the prices are affordable and the flour tends to last long.
“I sometime order dry maize from Tala where I come from because it is a little bit cheaper. Also, whenever I eat ugali made from sifted maize, I get hungry in no time,” she said with a smile.
Whatever remains is often taken with tea the next morning – which is how some families avoid paying for bread which currently costs Sh60 to Sh65.
As many troops to the posho-mills, cereal shops located within the estates, and selling products like maize, wheat, millet and sorghum are doing just fine.
“The demand for dry maize has gone up for the past two months. I think it is because the prices of cooking flour have gone up,” a cereals dealer at Mwiki noted.
Some customers order flour that is delivered from the millers, and those who are too shy to visit the posho mills, send their house helps.
Maize flour is one of the most consumed food products in many households in Nairobi making it a common fixture on the tables.