If you are a farmer who deals with lime or lemon or knows where it can be found, then you have a ready market in Nairobi as the shortage hits most parts of the city.
The price of the two fruits (lemon and lime) has doubled in less than two months as Kenyans scramble to have a share during this pandemic season.
There has been an increase in flu across the city and since lemon/lime and ginger is believed to be a remedy, most Nairobians have been going for it. The majority are also scared of visiting the hospitals for fear of being diagnosed with Covid-19.
In most parts of the city, one lime is going for between 10 and 20 shillings. Before the pandemic, 3 to 5 limes were going for 10 shillings.
“There is an acute shortage. We have to wait for lorries to supply them to us on a weekly basis. We even don’t know where they are getting them. What I know is, hakuna ndimu,” said Faith Njeri, a trader at Ngara Fig Tree Market.
One lemon is now retailing between 15 and 20 shillings. This is an increase from 3 to 5 lemons going for 15 and 20 shillings. Traders say they are looking for the now only fruit that is on high demand.
The price of mangoes has also gone up. A walk through the Ngara Fig Tree on Monday showed that only three traders had mangoes and each mango was retailing between 90 and 100 shillings. A kilogram was going for 350 shillings.
Traders say there is also a shortage of mangoes. Buyers are looking for the small, green mangoes that are nowhere to be seen. Those available are large, brought into the country from Tanzania.
With the conflict between Kenya and Tanzania, traders are worried that most produce coming from Tanzania will be cut short, leading to an increase in prices.