By George Munene
The flooding of Ethiopian tomatoes into the Kenyan market has led to a halt in the good times for Kenyan farmers as the wholesale price of tomatoes has dropped by a whopping 40 per cent over the past two weeks in major markets.
The long March to April rains are usually accompanied by record prices for Kenyan tomatoes, importation of tomatoes from Kenya’s northern neighbor has however led to depressed prices.
The news is far more positive for onion farmers. Despite the best efforts of brokers to lower farm gate prices, onion prices have been on an upward trajectory now at Sh 86 a kilogram as markets remain grossly undersupplied.
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Unlike tomato farmers, onion growers can rest easy for a while as the usual influx of Tanzanian onions into the country is not expected for another couple of months.
The price of potatoes has also been falling steadily owing to the entry of Tanzanian potatoes into the country.
“The ongoing drought in the country, delayed rains and high input costs have led to depressed yields; this has contributed to the prevailing high commodity prices.
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This is however countered by the high cost of living which has weakened the spending power of Kenyans and means brokers can’t afford to increase prices,” explained Joshua Mamwaka a wholesale trader at Nairobi’s Marikiti market.
For a detailed breakdown of the price of these and more agricultural commodities reach Joshua Mamwaka: 0792404438