Market News

Food prices jump sharply on rainfall


Mr Kariuki Gatiba, a trader at Nyeri Town market arranges foodstuff at his grocery stand on December 5. Persistent rains and high demand of the commodities have contributed to sharp rise of prices. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI

Food prices in Nyeri have shot up due to the ongoing rainfall that has left farmers grappling with massive crop loss.

Currently most horticulture growing counties in central Kenya region are experiencing cold weather due to the downpour which is unfavourable for the crops to flourish.

Potato prices have gone up by 38 percent for a 17-kilogramme bucket from Sh400 last month to Sh550.

Tomatoes have also increased from Sh60 to Sh80 and the price is expected to rise higher.

“Tomatoes and potatoes are the greatly affected since they are sensitive to rains and changing weather conditions,” said Mr Kariuki Gatiba, a trader at Nyeri Town open market.

A kilo of onions is retailing at Sh100 up from Sh80.

Traders are relying on locally produced onions compared to previously where there was an oversupply from Tanzania.

Capsicums are selling at Sh120 a kilo, from Sh80 representing a 50 percent increase in the last one month while customers are paying Sh10 more for carrots at Sh60.

Peas and French beans are selling at Sh100 from Sh80 while courgettes are priced Sh120 up from Sh80.

Fruits such as pawpaw and passion fruit have also been low in supply.

According to Cyrus Gichuki, a majority of the fruits do not do well during the cold season.

“The demand is not meeting the supply which means the prices will go up. And even in the coming days, the prices will even go higher as the supply diminishes,” he said.

Currently, there is a shortage of watermelons which are majorly sourced from lower eastern and the coastal regions.

A kilogramme of pawpaw is selling at Sh150 up from Sh80 representing an 88 percent increase while a kilo of passion fruit is selling at Sh180 up from Sh100 representing an 80 percent increase.