HOMA BAY, Kenya, February 27 – Business operators in Homa Bay County have called on the government to find ways to address the issue of steadily rising food prices, which are currently being seen across the country.
They alleged that many of their businesses have been badly hit by rising food prices, which in turn could affect the economy.
Speaking to KNA, the Chairman of Homa Bay Business Operators, Geoffrey Okoth aka Onduso, said several businesses in the area have collapsed, thus interfering with people’s standard of living.
“Businessmen are the backbone of our country’s economy and high food prices have forced many operators to close their businesses and engage in unprofitable trade. The collapse of companies could ruin the country’s economy,” he said.
Commercial farmers who sell agricultural products have also been affected as they experience a drop in sales with buyers having alternatives.
A town trader, Rose Atieno, denounced the spike in commodity prices, saying there was a lot of dead stock in the market.
“I used to buy a box of tomatoes for 2,000 shillings, but now a box costs 5,000 shillings. The increase has doubled, making it difficult to increase the amount. There is also a 50/50 chance of profiting from the sale,” she lamented.
On a good day, a crate of tomatoes would sell out in 3 days unlike the current situation where it takes 5 days to sell the stock and some tomatoes spoil as few people buy them at the current high market price, he said. she adds.
On the other hand, restaurateurs have also complained, saying the situation has undermined their business as they now serve a relatively small number of customers unlike the recent past.
They said they were now taking losses on a daily basis as they had an incentive to raise the prices of their goods, thus limiting the number of incoming customers.
They called on the government to step in and fire the price control bodies and also to intervene to ensure that citizens live an affordable life.
Recently, Kenyans launched an online campaign lamenting high food prices, while calling on the government to act quickly and lower food prices.