Tomatoes are becoming a luxury again. Their price is actually above that of apples and Kenyans’ already tattered pockets will soon have nothing remaining. The price of one tomato is now retailing between 20 and 25 shillings in Nairobi.
Kenyans from various parts of the city have reported an instant spike in the price of tomatoes with some buying 5 at 100 shillings from the normal 50 shillings. The spike in prices has been attributed to the rainy season that often destroy the crop.
At Ngara Fig Tree, a tomato is going between 20 and 30 shillings depending on the quality, more than 100 percent increase from 5 and 10 shillings last month. Sellers say it is becoming difficult to acquire the product from far places.
The price of one crate of tomatoes has increased from an average of 8,000 shillings to above 12,000 shillings in Nairobi. According to Consumer Prices Indices from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the monthly price for tomatoes increased 7.44 percent from 44.32 shillings to 47.30 shillings per kilo between January and February this year.
Kenya produces an average of 283,000 tonnes of tomatoes annually against a demand of 300,000 tonnes. In 2017, the country imported 27,000 tonnes of fruit. The ministry of agriculture expects the current shortage to persist until April at the onset of the long rains.
In Kisii the price of a crate is at 8,000 shillings and Nakuru and Kitale reporting the lowest price of 6,000 shillings. In most parts of Mombasa, one tomato is going for between 10 and 20 shillings from 5 shillings 3 months ago.
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