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Rain causes food prices to drop

Traders at Mukuyu market in Murang’a have attributed the decline in the prices of some groceries to the recent favourable rainy season.

The traders noted that the prices of vegetables and other food items have been decreasing gradually as farmers continue harvesting following the rains experienced in various parts of the country in recent months.

Speaking to KNA, Mary Wangari, a vegetable vendor at Mukuyu market, stated that tomato prices, among other vegetables such as cabbages, potatoes, and carrots, have gone down as a result of increased harvest.

“Some of these groceries include tomatoes, which have recorded a decrease in retail prices and are now retailing at Sh30 as compared to prices as high as Sh120 per kilo before the rains,” Wangari said.

“Lately, there has been an increase in the number of harvested tomatoes that are ready for sale. Consequently, we have to lower the prices in order to lure customers into buying the crop since it’s a perishable commodity, and we as vendors also need to make profit from the sale,” she added.

Wangari noted that the price of potatoes has also tremendously decreased since a tin of potatoes is now retailing at between Sh80 and Sh100, which is a big drop from the over Sh200 price tag a few months ago.

She explained that although the price has decreased, it keeps fluctuating due to harvesting patterns that affect the quantity of potatoes reaching the market, and the traders therefore have to make slight adjustments in prices in order to make a profit from the sales.

The price of green peas, which is one of the most highly consumed commodities in the region, has also gone down, as it is now retailing at Sh70 per kilogramme, which is a decrease from about Sh200 per kilo a few months ago.

Victor Murimi, a green peas vendor at Mukuyu market, states that green peas had been recording poor sales among most of the retailers since most customers feel that the quantity of the commodity does not match the price, but now with the increased produce from the farmers, they can decrease the price and lure more customers into buying the peas.

However, another trader, John Wachira, observed that the cost of some commodities, such as onions, has been going up, with a kilogramme of onions now retailing at Sh150 from the previous price of Sh100 per kilogramme.

“The increase in the price has made the sale of onions go down. It’s even hard to make profit from the sale of onions since customers have been driven away by the high prices,” Wachira stated.

“Even though people still have to buy onions for the preparation of most of the meals, you find that they are opting to buy the commodity in small amounts that fit their pockets, which has led to poor sales for most retailers like myself,” he said, adding that he now makes Sh800 from the sale of onions, yet previously I could make up to Sh1500 from the sale of onions.

He also noted that the prices of dry cereals like green grammes and beans have also slightly shifted, with the prices expected to go even lower as farmers continue harvesting in various parts of the country.

By Purity Mugo and Celestine Mugambi

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