There is a surplus supply of tomatoes in Nairobi, bringing reprieve to many residents who had to do without the ingredient.
For more than two months, tomatoes in Nairobi had become a luxury as their prices skyrocketed due to their scarcity on the market.
Nairobi residents have been buying one tomato between 10 to 15 shillings as compared to how the situation was before where three tomatoes went for 10 shillings on open markets.
This month, however, the supply of tomatoes has increased as many farmers from the outcasts of the city came in to tap in to the escalating prices.
The prices have now significantly dropped with some retailers for fear of their products going bad, selling them at 10 shillings for four tomatoes.
“When people heard that there was a limited supply of tomatoes, they all came in from all walks of life and now we have tomatoes everywhere,” said Mrs. Melisa Muthoni, a grocery seller at Muthurwa market in Nairobi.
“Tomatoes are perishable products and the more they are on the market, the more losses we get as sellers,” she said.
Elsewhere in Bungoma County, beans prices continue to increase with each passing day, a month after most farmers harvested the produce.
June was the harvesting period for most farmers and beans were going at 2000 shillings per 90-kg bag. In July, the prices jumped to 3400 shillings per 90-kg back and by yesterday, the beans were retailing between 3800 to 4000 shillings per 90-kg bag.
This season’s produce was adversely affected by weather and most farmers witnessed dismal harvest. There was a prolonged rainfall which then disappeared when the beans were just flowering hence denying them the much needed water for the strengthening of the flowers.
“The harvest was not good. I only harvested six bags from my one-acre farm. I used to harvest between 10 to 15 bags,” said Mr. John Wandabwa, a small scale farmer at Musikoma area, Bungoma County.