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Food prices increase in Nyeri after heavy rains destroy crops

Tuesday December 10 2019

Nyeri Town market

Trader Kariuki Gatiba arranges items in his stand at Nyeri town market on December 5, 2019. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IRENE MUGO
By IRENE MUGO
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Food prices have shot up in Nyeri County following heavy rains that have left farmers grappling with heavy losses.

Most counties known for horticulture are experiencing heavy rainfall, a weather condition that is unfavourable for crops.

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

Tomatoes prices have also increased from Sh60 to Sh80, a price which could increase further due to an imminent shortage.

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

OTHER INCREMENTS

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A kilogramme of onions is retailing at Sh100, up from Sh80.

Traders are currently relying on locally produced onions since they do not have an excessive supply from Tanzania.

Still, they have asked the government to stop the imports so that they are not thrown out of business.

Capsicums are selling at Sh120 a kilogramme, up from Sh80, a five percent increase in the last one month.

For carrots, residents are paying Sh10 above the usual cost of Sh50 and for peas and French beans, they are paying Sh100, up from Sh80. Courgettes are being at Sh120, an increase of Sh40.

FRUITS

The supply of fruits such as pawpaw and passion fruit has been low.

As such, the price of pawpaw has shot up from Sh80 to Sh150 while a kilogramme of passion fruit is being sold at Sh180, an 80 percent increase from Sh100.

Farmer Cyrus Gichuki noted that many fruits do not do well during the rainy season.

“Supply does not match demand, which means the prices will go up. This will continue as supply diminishes further," he said.

A shortage of watermelons has resulted in imports from the Ukambani and coastal regions.