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Tanzanian potatoes imported by Kenyan traders

Potato growing in kenyaMaize is surely the staple food of Kenyans. But potato comes a close second, both in terms of consumption and production. The crop is mainly grown under rain-fed conditions during two seasons – April-June and October-December – by small holding farmers for commercial and home consumption. Many Kenyans prefer local potatoes because of the quality. Potato growing in Kenya is very popular and common.

Traders

The increasing costs of transportation have lead to high potato prices. Due to drought, there is a severe shortage in the farm produce. Hence, traders have been sourcing potatoes from Tanzania. Last month, a bucket of potatoes was sold for Ksh 500, while the current price is at Ksh 600.

Local Market

Time is a major factor for the traders to get potatoes from Tanzania as it takes a long time. It could even take up to a week to get them and this could result in rotting. This reduces the profit margin of the traders. Despite this, a severe shortage has led to the traders importing the tuber from Tanzania. It will be another two and half months before the Kenyan farmers can harvest their crop and the shortage is likely to persist till then.

For now, the crop is still in the budding stage and there is no possibility of Kenyan farmers making up for the shortage before two and a half months.

Image courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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