By Bedah Mengo NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Going to the market for her weekly fresh produce
supplies for Nairobi resident Abigail Sande has been an
enjoyable experience for the last two weeks.
As prices of various
produce have declined, Sande can choose a variety of items to
buy unlike over a month ago when her choices were limited by the
“Initially when I
went to the market, I would only buy sukuma wiki (kales)
vegetables, whose price was fair and ignore traditional
vegetables or cabbages because they were unaffordable,” said
Sande on Thursday.
Supply of fresh
produce that include tomatoes, vegetables, potatoes, capsicums,
onions and green peas, among others, has improved in the East
African nation in the last three weeks, bringing relief to
millions of consumers who for the better of the year were
grappling with high costs.
All the fresh
produce have registered significant decline in prices but among
the top decliners are cabbages, carrots, green maize, tomatoes
Prices of the
commodities have declined by up to 15 percent in the last month,
with a bunch of 10 leaves of sukuma wiki, Kenya’s favorite
vegetable, now going as low as 0.05 dollars.
Like sukuma wiki,
traditional vegetables that are in high supply thanks to the
ongoing heavy rains across the East African nation have
registered much drop in prices.
are going for a song, with four big ones selling for 0.10
dollars, down from double the amount.
“I am happy with the
drop in prices. My family can now eat as much variety of foods
as they want, especially vegetables. In fact, with the reduced
prices, my kitchen budget has declined considerably,” said
Veronica Njuguna, a marketer in Nairobi.
National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) showed that food prices
dropped in October by between 2 and 13 percent.
According to KNBS,
tomato prices declined by 5 percent, cabbage 13 percent, carrots
11 percent, green maize 2 percent and onions 4 percent.
The cost of the
commodities has dipped further by now, especially due to the
ongoing rains that have helped steady supply.
non-alcoholic drinks’ index decreased by 1.78 percent. This was
due to observed drop in the cost of several food items mainly
attributed to favourable weather conditions,” said KNBS in a
statement last week while releasing inflation figures.
food inflation during the month dropped to 8.47 percent in
October from 10.3 percent in 2016.
on the other hand, dropped to 5.72 percent from 7.06 percent,
according to the statistics agency. It was one of the biggest
drops this year, after inflation peaked at 11.5 percent in
The low food prices
have made lives for Kenyan families bearable after months of
suffering that made the government come up with subsidies to
cushion suffering citizens.
government in May moved to cushion citizens from high food
prices, in particular of maize by introducing subsidized flour
that retailed at 0.9 dollars, down from 1.5 dollars, a
The program was to
end last month, but the government extended it by two months.
Besides maize, sugar prices have also declined to 1.1 dollars a
kilo, down from 2 dollars.
However, the low
prices may be short-lived, according to Henry Wandera, an
economics lecturer in Nairobi.
“The government two
days ago raised the cost of fuel by between 0.01 dollars and
0.05 dollars, a move that may increase food prices, pushing up
inflation because fuel is a key ingredient in production,” he