Consumers to brace for fruit shortage

Consumers of fruits and vegetables in Nyahururu County market have to bear with high prices as the supply has started to dwindle.

A spot check at the market shows that there is a shortage in the supply of bananas, with buyers having to dig dipper to access the fruit selling at between Sh7 and S2 a piece.

Periods of heavy rains have witnessed a drop in supply as the roads tend to be impassable while the crops remain largely immature.

The smaller bananas remain out of stock and we are forced to sell the medium sized ones at Sh7 a piece. Traders don’t like the price as little can be gained, noted Sarah Wangeci, adding that most of the supply came from Meru, Kutus and Kagio in Kirinyaga County.

Nyahururu and parts of Nyandarua County do not grow the produce due to its low temperatures that are unfavorable. Green bananas, used as vegetables sold at S0 a piece, with a stalk selling at an average Sh700.

Most traders who used wheelbarrows to hawk the produce have resorted to selling oranges that retail at Sh 30 a kilo.

We get these oranges from Tanzania where there is abundance. Transportation costs and decline in their demand has not favoured the business lately, noted Derrick Kimani, adding that a lorry that sold in five days now stays for two weeks before clearing stock.

The oranges sold for between Sh5 and Sh7 per piece. Watermelons, too, continued to characterize most stands, with hawkers opting to promote sales.

The watermelons are selling at Sh 35 per kilogramme; we get them from as far as Bura Irrigation Scheme at fair prices but transport them at our own cost.

We also incur losses as rodents at the open air market feast on our stocks hence the increased prices, noted David Githinji.

Nyahururu town and its environs has for three weeks experienced a dry spell that has threatened the supply of vegetables and green peas that grow in the area. Milk prices are also expected to go up as fodder diminishes.

Source: Kenya News Agency