Prolonged Drought Hurting Kenyan Households as Commodity Prices Heighten

By Vera Shawiza / April 9, 2019




Commodity prices across the country are increasing and Kenyan households will now be forced to pay 5 shillings more for a packet of long-life milk whose price has been increased to 55 shillings from 50 shillings.

Milk processors have attributed the increase to the ongoing dry weather which has led to a shortage of the commodity.

This is the first time that the price of the commodity has hit 55 shillings in the last two years.

The country has been facing a prolonged drought after the short rains failed in October last year, a situation that affected fodder in the fields. But production volumes were maintained between October and December as farmers who had preserved fodder were not affected.

Read Kenya Economic Update: Transforming Agricultural Productivity to Achieve Food Security for All 

Milk is not the only commodity whose price has been affected by the dry weather. Prices for a number of different other commodities like vegetables, tomatoes, fruits, and onions have also increased thus households will have to dig deeper into their pockets in order to afford them.

A 90-kilogram bag of Sorghum is currently retailing at an average of 6,200 shillings up from 5,400 shillings just weeks ago while a 90-kilogram bag of finger millet sells at 4,200 shillings, up from 5,800 shillings.

A 90-kilogram bag of beans which was going for 8,800 shillings last month is currently going for 10,200 shillings.

To get a 90-kilogram bag of oranges, one has to pay 4,200 shillings yet it was just 1,800 shillings weeks ago. A crate of spring onions now sells for 2,200 shillings from 1,400 shillings.

A survey conducted around food markets across Nairobi County revealed that two leaves of Sukumawiki or spinach go for 20 shillings when these tend to be the most consumed vegetables by Kenyans together with Ugali.

See Also Kenya’s GDP to Slightly Feel the Heat over Prolonged Drought and delayed Long Rains

A pineapple is going for 180 shillings, twice the ordinary price. A mango going for between 30 shillings and 50 shillings depending on the size with a kilogram of tomatoes retailing at 100 shillings up from 50 shillings last month.

One big cabbage goes for Sh60 shillings, up from 20 shillings while four oranges go for 20 shillings. A small avocado goes for 20 shillings, up from 10 shillings weeks ago.

The United States Department of Agriculture has projected a 12 percent decline in maize production, dampening hopes of the hunger crisis ends soon.

The department also forecast a drop in the production of wheat and rice, a situation it attributes to reduced acreage under cultivation.



About Vera Shawiza

Vera Shawiza is Soko Directory’s in-house journalist. Her zealous nature ensures that sufficient and relevant content is generated for the Soko Directory website and sourcing information from clients is easy as smooth sailing.Vera can be reached at: (020) 528 0222 or Email: [email protected]

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