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Dry spell triples food prices

Traders and consumers in Nakuru town and its environs have to bear with the high prices of vegetables due to the current dry spell which started at the beginning of the year with temperatures increasing on a daily basis.

A spot check at the Nakuru’s major markets revealed that traders jostle for the few supplies of vegetables which mainly come from Uganda, Meru County and local large scale farmers.

The Chairman of the town’s Top market, Benjamin Mathenge said a sack of sukuma wiki has risen from Sh.200 to Sh.1, 200 per sack with that of spinach is costing Sh.3, 000. The popular managu is selling at Sh.4, 000 a sack up from Sh.1, 500 previously while the price of tomatoes has also increased from Sh.2, 000 per crate to Sh.8, 000.

One of the suppliers, Bildad Mwai said the prices were bound to keep on increasing until the rainy season as farmers currently were spending more money on inputs besides buying water for irrigation.

However, Mwai said this was the only period when farmers got rewarded for their hard work since the scarcity leads to increased prices.

“Farming is a thankless job in this country but during this dry spell, we make more profits than any other season although the work load also increases,” he added.

A County Crops’ Officer, Fredrick Owino said all regions that depended on rain fed agriculture were grouped by the World Food Organization, as being food scarce because a slight change of weather drastically reduces food production.

He said the country needs to rethink its farming cycles in relation to the changing climate because after a dry spell, there is a possibility of floods or frost and majority of farmers were not prepared for weather management.

By  Veronica Bosibor/Sharon Weru

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