Farmer selecting groundnut pods. Mombasa is paying more money for groundnuts than other town in Kenya. Photo by Farm Radio International.
Groundnuts traders in Mombasa are making close to 20 per cent more income than their counterparts in Nairobi as food consumers continue paying more as a result of the prolonged drought.
The rise in price of commodities has been on the rise from October 2016, since most agro-producers in Kenya rely on rain.
A 110kg bag of groundnuts is costing Sh16,500 at the Kongowea Market, Mombasa. The same quantity is fetching Sh13,800 in Nairobi, according to Soko+, an online market price source.
The difference in cost in Nairobi and Mombasa is Sh2,540.
Lamu County’s Mpeketoni, which is one of the main regions supplying groundnuts to Mombasa and other Coastal regions, has been hard hit by drought for more than seven months.
“Groundnuts are coming in from other parts of the country. Those supplying from Lamu County are doing so from stores, not fresh harvests as it has been. Shrunk supplies are causing a hike in prices,” Eric Masang’a, a cereal trader at Changamwe said.
Groundnuts, like other beans take between three and four months to mature, require plenty of rain almost through thegrowing production period for high results. The farmers in Mpeketoni rely on rain for the production, according to James Moruri, a farmer from the county.
Moruri said those who grew the nuts after August 2016 harvested nothing as it has never rained since July.
Surprisingly, the cost of the nuts in Malindi, which is about 115km away from Mombasa, and nearer to Lamu, is Sh12,500.
The nuts cost Sh12,000, Sh12,600 and Sh14,000 in Kisumu, Eldoret and Nakuru respectively.
Transporting a 100kg bag of cereals can cost about Sh200.