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Potato consumers to dig deeper in their pockets following increased prices

Potato lovers in Meru County will have to dig deeper into their pockets following a price hike of the commodity in the region by over 200 percent.

Residents are now complaining due to their inability to buy the same quantities as they used to buy before.

Mr James Murithi, a trader at Gakoromone market said following inadequate rains during the last season, there has been a shortage right from the potato-producing regions which includes Githongo and Kiirua.

As a result, he said, potato farming had become a reserve of the few farmers who can afford water for irrigation, leading to a low supply of potatoes hence the price increase.

At the moment a 50-kg bag of potatoes is retailing at Sh7500 while a 2-kg tin goes for Sh250 whereas two months ago, the same measures used to fetch Sh2500 and Sh90 respectively.

Rose Karimi, a potato dealer at Gakoromone market, says she is experiencing a supply problem since there is less production to meet the demand.

She also says that the market has seen a shortage of the product for some days leaving the business people with a price prediction problem.

Jackson Kiogora, also a potato supplier at the same market says that he is hopeful that the prices will come down due to the rains currently being experienced in Meru County.

The suppliers and sellers have promised residents to expect a decrease in the price of potatoes if the rain season continues which is great news to the potato consumers either at home or businesses.

Caroline Kairi, a potato dealer at the same market said the other reason behind the potato price increase is the unbearable transportation cost.

“The cost of transporting potatoes from farms to the market has increased with the rise in fuel prices experienced country-wide. As a result, the costs are passed through the supply chain to the consumers hence the rise in potato price,” said Ms Kaari.

By Dickson Mwiti and Winjoy Makena

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