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Mushrooms sales suffer sudden drop on hospitality close-down

By Grace Munyi

In the last one week, demand for mushrooms from the hotel industry and direct consumers has ceased, in a demand shock triggered by the Coronavirus outbreak in the country.

“Normally, we supply 100kgs to hotels and restaurants, 200kgs to supermarkets and 16kgs to direct consumers through home deliveries every week. However, we are not receiving any orders from the hospitality sector as tourism traffic has ceased following the government’s directives. Similarly, orders from the direct consumers have stopped. The only market left to supply to are the supermarkets,” said Morris Kiruga from the Mushroom Growers Association of Kenya.

This has resulted in a 37 per cent decline in mushroom farmers’ average earnings, to around Sh178,000 per week, from the previous average of Sh278,080. The price of mushrooms is yet to fall, however, remaining at Sh880 per kilogram.

Following confirmation of the first case of the Coronavirus on 12th March by the Ministry of Health, the country’s tourism industry has come to a halt, with western tourists ceasing most travel, and the government banning the entry of non-residents into the country.

Kenyan boarding schools have been closed,  and all meetings, events and international conferences banned for a period of 30 days.

In addition, local restaurants have also seen a decline in traffic since the government urged Kenyans to avoid visiting crowded areas such as restaurants, churches, weddings and funerals.

So far, seven cases of the Corona Virus have been confirmed in Kenya.

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