Potato prices have doubled in the past two months in most parts of the country with a 50-kilogram bag retailing 4,500 shillings in Isiolo.
The increase in prices has been attributed to the current shortage which was as a result of heavy rains across the country that which affected production.
In Kitale and Kisii, the 50-kilogram bag is retailing at 3,500 shillings, 3,100 shillings in Mombasa, 3,000 shillings in Nairobi and 2,800 shillings in Eldoret.
Farmers disclosed that during rainy seasons, there is always a lot of diseases that affect crops and they are in turn forced to use expensive chemicals to control these diseases.
Even with the situation at hand, middlemen are said to worsen the situation for traders as they take advantage of the shortage to increase prices when supplying the potatoes.
Last month, Agriculture and Irrigation chief administrative secretary Andrew Tuimur had assured Kenyans that the prices were going to reduce by October but that seems not to happen any time soon.
Also, potato shortage was attributed to a misunderstanding after the regulatory body- Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service – prohibited importation of potato seeds from Tanzania in order to protect the country from pests and diseases.
Normally, when there is a shortage of potatoes in the country, traders go to neighboring countries such as Tanzania to buy the product but there was a misunderstanding after Kephis prohibited importation of seeds.
According to National Potato Council of Kenya (NPCK), the country’s potato value chain involves approximately 2.7 million people among them 800,000 farmers. The sector contributes to more than 50 billion shillings to the economy.