Price of cereals up in Meru
09 March 2012, 12:51
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A recent announcement by the meteorological department that the March-April rains would be insufficient has triggered a drastic upward trend in the prices of cereals at the main Meru Gakoromone open air market.
A spot check at the open air market revealed that a kilogram of beans was being sold at sh.70 up from sh.50, a kilogram of peas went for sh.85 up from sh.60, black beans went for sh.110 up from sh.90 while a 90kg bag of wheat and potatoes went for sh.3,500 and sh.3,300 respectively.
Martin Kinyua a cereals trader at the market who is also a farmer in the lower areas of Meru county, said the cost of food had risen in the last few days due to fear instilled in the minds of both farmers and traders by the meteorological department's announcement.
The farmer cum trader also attributed high prices of food in the region to uncontrolled and inconsistent high cost of mandatory farm inputs such as certified planting seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.
kinyua also noted that the subsidized fertilizers channeled through the National Cereals and Produce Board(NCPB) from the government to farmers were far from being enough for the increasing numbers of farming in the region.
Consequently, Kinyua claimed that the situation at the Meru NCPB depot was likely to provide a favorable route for corruption to thrive as some farmers may opt to compromise the NCPB officials to access the expensive commodities.
‘Prices of fertilizers and other essential farm inputs at the town retail outlets have gone beyond the financial ability of many farmers in the region’, Kinyua added.
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