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Meru traders importing onions amid shortage

Traders in Meru County are importing onions from other regions, owing to the prevailing shortage of the commodity in the region.

According to the onion traders at the Gakoromone market, there has been a deficit of the same in the local farms from where they purchase the product and even countrywide.

This has led to a further drastic rise in the prices of onions.

George Muthee, a trader at the market, said that they are buying and selling onions, especially those imported from the neighbouring country of Somalia.

Muthee further said that the local onions are selling more in terms of price than the imported ones due to the current low supply, but consumers are still preferring Kenyan products for their quality and taste compared to the imported ones.

He added that consumers are afraid of consuming imported onions because of their strange appearance, as opposed to the appearance of the local ones.

The trader further said that the consumers were reluctant to consume the Somalia onions as they were not sure of their quality as well as the chemicals used in spraying them.

Lucy Muthoni, another trader, said, “The imported onions are selling at Sh130 per kilogramme, while the local ones are selling at Sh150 because of scarcity.”

On her part, Carol Kathuure said that there might be a continuous hike in prices of the onions for a period of a month or two before the next expected harvest.

“It’s now becoming hard to cope with the high prices of onions because even the sales are reducing,” she said.

She further said that the high cost of production in the current country’s economy has also led to low yields on farms.

By Dickson Mwiti and Dorcas Kawira

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