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Food prices hike due to prolonged drought

By Margaret Kimathi

Kitui County is characterized by a rapidly growing population, water scarcity, falling food production and low resilience to climate change. The combined effects of climate change and rapid population growth are increasing food insecurity, environmental degradation, and poverty levels.

Recurring droughts have diminished water supply, rendering many rivers seasonal, and drying them completely.This has led to a decrease in food Production and supply leading to food prices hike.
Market survey done at Marikiti market in Mwingi Central that approximately 99%of food stuffs at the market are being sourced outside the county.

Pakistan rice is the most available brand of rice which is fairly sold at 100  shillings per kilogram.Sindano rice which was selling at sh.130 per kilogram is now selling at sh.150 per kilogram and pishori rice Wich was selling at ah.200 per kilogram is now selling at sh.250 per kilogram.This was found out from one of the supermarkets in Mwingi town.

The survey also revealed increased prices in maize which used to sell @ 50sh per kg which is now selling @ 70 sh per kg leading to rise of maize flour which is selling at sh.65 shillings per kilogram.
Drought has greatly contributed to the rise of food stuffs due to poor economy caused by scarcity of water,lack of rain or inadequate rain and climate change.

The price of potatoes has highly increased due to low supply and high demand.A medium bucket of potatoes which used to cost at 650 shillings is now selling at 800 shillings."Two kilograms of potatoes that was selling at 200shillings is now selling at 250 shillings,Mary Nzembi vegetable retailer lamented.

Other commodities that has in recent past reported high inflation at the market included:tomatoes,cabbages ,carrots and kales.

A piece of cabbage that was selling at  70 shillings or 80 shillings  depending on the size is recently sold at 100shillings.The price of carrots has also hiked where one kilogram of carrots used to sell at 100 shillings and now it's selling at 120 shillings per Kilogram.A piece of tomatoe is selling at 10 shillings which was selling at 10shillings two pieces.

"I sell a bunch of dania at 20 shillings  and I used to sell it @ 10 sh in the last two months because of its shortage and delay to get it from supllpliers." Joan Syombua a vegetable retailer lamented.
However prices of bananas,onions and oranges has  remained stable.

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