Cabbage has been the most affordable vegetable at Gakoromone market, Meru town but lately, the price of this essential vegetable has shot up.
During rainy seasons, medium sized cabbages are sold at as low as Sh 10 but are currently costing Sh 50.
A trader at the market Daniel Mutura said the price of the commodity was likely to go higher as long as the dry season lasts.
“Come September, a cabbage selling at Sh.50 might cost as high as Sh.100 due to their scarcity as most farmers solely depend on rain fed agriculture,” he added.
Mutura says he used to grow cabbages for sale but stopped and started buying from farmers who practiced irrigation farming using private boreholes.
Another trader Morris Murimi Kinyua lamented over little profits from cabbages. He said the price of cabbages and other vegetables such as kales and spinach had skyrocketed making his customers shy off from buying greens.
“Before the onset of dry season which caused the shortage of this vital product, I used to make double or triple profit since I used to buy one cabbage for Sh10 and sell it at Sh30 or 40 depending on the bargaining power of a customer,” said Mr Murimi adding currently he does not give his customers room for bargaining as he made Sh5 only profit per cabbage.
The traders called on the government to help curb future vegetables’ shortage by drilling numerous boreholes and connecting water to households for small scale irrigation.
Recently, Meru County Agriculture CEC Carol Mutiga said that the county government had embarked on drilling boreholes and training farmers on rain water harvesting.
“So far the county government has dug 181 boreholes in the region and we intend to increase the number so that our people can embrace irrigation farming,” she said.
Mutiga stressed that empowering farmers by connecting water to their homesteads would boost food security and encouraged farmers to venture into horticultural crops to reap better returns.
By Brenda Gakii and Muguongo Judy