Coast grapples with curfew-induced food supply constraints

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 19:39 |
Tomato farming.

The Coast region continues to face challenges that threaten its existence with some traders having to close shop while others adopt a wait-and-see approach in the wake of the impact of Covid-19.

The situation, worsened by the dusk-to-dawn curfew, has triggered a sharp decline in the supply of goods and services, leading to a spike in costs of essential commodities.

If the situation continues, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry official Rukia Rashid says residents will not access essential commodities.

“Agribusiness is the most affected. Since the Coast region depends on agricultural produce from other parts of the country, supply chain disruptions, occasioned by the curfew, will affect access to food,” said Rashid.

In Kongowea market, traders who normally sell wares outside the market are no where to be seen, having run short of food commodities such vegetables to sell. 

Drivers who deliver agricultural produce have halted night travel for fear of being brutalised by police in the ongoing curfew.

The region depends on commodities transported overnight from upcountry, but since the curfew was imposed, the supply has gone down prompting them to increase prices of the little that’s supplied.

Price of vegetables has doubled with a cabbage going for about Sh100 while a tomato goes for Sh20 up from Sh5.   – Harrison Kivisu

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