Consumption of fruit and vegetables fell in Kenya in June, July and August, according to new research commissioned by USAID, due to high prices, leading to a drop in earnings in the horticultural sector.
“Retailers sold 837,658 tonnes of fresh produce valued at Ks38.5bn, representing a trend of decreasing volumes,” said the research, which was conducted by the Kenya Horticultural Development Programme.
In value terms, vegetable sales declined by 8.3 per cent, while sales of fruit plummeted by some 25 per cent.
“These declines are attributed to escalating costs of basic commodities due to recent inflation,” the report stated.
Inflation has since risen, from 16.67 per cent in August to 18.9 per cent in October, according to the Central Bank of Kenya, suggesting that the situation could yet worsen for vendors on the domestic market.
The study looked at various items of fresh produce, including bananas, passion fruits, mangoes, cabbages, green maize, Irish potatoes, kales, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.