The medium-sized onions that went for five shillings are now retailed at 10 shillings at the market.
A spot check in the fresh vegetable market in Nairobi shows that dry onions are retailing at an average market price of 107.83 shillings.
At Fig Tree Market in Nairobi, dry onions are being sold at 100 shillings per kilogram, with a 13 kg bag going for 950 shillings. Two kilograms of dry onion go for 200 shillings.
One trader at the market says this is an increase compared to the start of December 2021 when a kilogram of onion retailed at 70 shillings and 13 kg at 910 shillings.
There was high demand with a lot of people purchasing more onions as we approached the festivities. This created a shortage of the commodity and hence increased demand in January 2022, the trader added.
Another factor that affects the onion market is the shortage of rain in major onion-growing areas.
Outdated techniques also contribute to the shortage of onions. “There is a smaller harvest, but the demand remains high in the local and international markets. Exports are significantly lower than last year, which drives prices up” said another trader at Fig Tree Market.
The medium-sized onions that went for five shillings are now retailed at 10 shillings at the market. Three small onions are now retailed at 20 shillings as compared to last month when it was five or six onions for twenty shillings.
The price of a small sack of onions (10kg) that was going for 1,000 shillings in November is now 1,200 shillings according to traders at Marikiti market in Nairobi.
The cost of food items has been on a steady rise since October 2020, all recording more than a 10 percent increase.
Even though there has been a drop in the cost of some commodities, the sad reality is that life is still tough for most Kenyans, and food items are costly due to the impact of Covid-19 on the economy and some other emerging factors such as change demand.