Ethiopia fills tomato supply gap

Ethiopia fills tomato supply gap

A vegetable seller at Majengo market in Mombasa prepares his goods for business yesterday. Tomato prices have risen from Sh50 per kilogramme to Sh180. PHOTO| LABAN WALLOGA | NATION

Traders in Nyeri have resorted to importing tomatoes from Ethiopia in order to bridge the deficit of the popular commodity.

Prices have shot up 63 per cent per kilogramme from Sh80 last month to Sh130.

Though the Ethiopian tomato is sold to traders at a low price, households are having to dig deeper into their pockets to buy the produce.

A kilogramme of imported onion costs between Sh100 and Sh120.

Traders say damp weather witnessed in tomato-growing areas in Nyeri and Kirinyaga have contributed to the scarcity of the produce.

“Too much rain is never good for tomatoes and that is why there is a shortage. More so, most areas that grow tomatoes are prone to flooding,” said Ms Jane Kellen Kuria, a trader at the Nyeri open air market.

For every imported 60-kilogramme crate, traders are parting with Sh4,000 as compared to Sh11,000 for the local variety.

“We prefer the imported tomato because it is round and firm compared to the local type, which is small and being sold at a very high price,” she added.

BY Daily Nation

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