Households Dig Deeper Into Their Pockets To Buy Tomatoes

By Getrude Mathayo / Published February 2, 2023 | 3:21 pm




KEY POINTS

KNBS indicated that the price of tomatoes surged to hit 102.5 shillings per kilogram. In December 2022, a kilo retailed at 97.40 shillings. The sharp increase was high compared to beans which recorded a 1.7 percent increase to hit 166 shillings per kilogram.


Tomato

KEY TAKEAWAYS


One tomato at Ngara market and Ruaraka, around Naivas, for instance, goes for between 15 shillings and 20 shillings. This is from 5 shillings and 10 shillings in December 2023.


Tomato prices have skyrocketed in the past months, forcing Kenyans to dig deeper into their pockets to enjoy a well-flavored meal. A spot-check by The Soko Directory around Nairobi estates revealed just how tomato prices have increased uncontrollably.

One tomato at Ngara market and Ruaraka, around Naivas, for instance, goes for between 15 shillings and 20 shillings. This is from 5 shillings and 10 shillings in December 2022.

Tomato

Most egg and sausage vendors in Nairobi are also complaining about tomato prices. They say they can no longer afford to buy tomatoes in order to prepare kachumbari (a mixture of tomatoes and onions) that they use to flavor eggs and sausages.

The traders attribute the increased cost to reduced supply in the market and transportation challenges. According to Consumer Price Indices and Inflation rates for January 2023 released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) on Tuesday, January 31, the price of tomatoes jumped by 8.1 percent.

KNBS indicated that the price of tomatoes surged to hit 102.5 shillings per kilogram. In December 2022, a kilo retailed at 97.40 shillings. The sharp increase was high compared to beans which recorded a 1.7 percent increase to hit 166 shillings per kilogram.

Tomato

The price increase report came just a day after traders complained about low market supply. Traders were compelled to scramble for the rare farm produce. Hoarding of tomatoes also contributed to the sharp increase for the last 30 days forcing Kenyans to spend more.

Compared to beans, which saw an increase of 1.7 percent to 166 shillings per kilogram, the fast increase was substantial. In addition to beans, the price increase for tomatoes was more than that for beef. Families were obliged to remove tomatoes from their grocery lists as a result of the increase, while other people still utilized them.

The notice of the price hike was released the day after dealers lamented the lack of market supplies. The uncommon farm crop forced traders to compete for it. Tomato hoarding was another factor in the steep rise over the previous 30 days, which made Kenyans spend more.

Due to a shortage of storage facilities for their fresh produce, 50 percent of Tanzanian tomatoes were lost before they could reach the market, according to the Conversation, an East African news source.

Further forcing dealers to raise tomato prices before they reached the Kenyan market was the absence of storage facilities. The cost of beans, eggs, water, and power all went up, which was another element in the price increase.






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