The surging prices of basic food commodities in Kericho Markets have been the talk of the town in the last two months when the area last experienced normal rains.
A spot check by Kenya News Agency (KNA) at Kericho Market showed that the prices of basic foodstuffs consumed on a daily basis such as onions and tomatoes have doubled since the beginning of the year 2023.
The traders in the open-air market within Kericho town lamented that the buying price of the food commodities had increased and thus dictating their selling price which their customers complained was higher than normal.
Brenda Njuguna, a tomato seller at the open-air market said she has been grappling with the high cost of living due to the reduced number of customers due to the increase in prices.
“I am also struggling to put food on the table, and the reason I adjusted the prices of tomatoes is due to the rise in buying price per crate which is between Ksh3500 to Ksh4000 up from Ksh2500,” Njuguna lamented.
Moses Bett, a cabbage and potato seller shared the same sentiments saying he has been struggling to even make profits since the demand has reduced due to hiked prices.
“One debe of potatoes is currently retailing at Ksh750 and one sack at Ksh3000 because our suppliers from Molo are no longer supplying us with potatoes due to the dry season and so we hustle to get them from as far as Olenguruoni, where it’s also hard to get,” Bett said.
He noted that compared to the previous year, cabbage prices doubled from Ksh20 to Ksh40 per cabbage due to poor weather conditions and the high cost of seeds.
Stella Nyaboke a Sukuma wiki seller, who travels to Kisii and Eldama Ravine to get the vegetables said the prices had dramatically hiked from Ksh300 per sack to Ksh1700 which is very alarming.
“That’s the situation and our customers should just bear with us, we are trying to explain to them but some cannot understand. The dry weather is to blame,” Nyaboke added.