Dar es Salaam. Tomato prices have risen sharply.
The situation has been attributed to poor supply and increased exports to Kenya.
The Citizen survey at Buguruni, Kariakoo and Ilala markets has established that the wholesale price of a 40-kilo container of tomatoes increased to between Sh40,000 and Sh50,000 on Tuesday, up from Sh20,000 and Sh25,000 on October 26.
The prices varied due to qualities of tomatoes and the time they remained at markets before being sold. Retail prices for a kilo of tomatoes also rose to Sh2,500 and Sh3,000, from Sh1,000 and Sh1,500.
Traders say supplies from major tomato producers in Iringa, Tanga and Coast regions have dwindled while demand in Kenya has also increased. Ilala, the largest tomato market in Dar es Salaam, has been experiencing a shortage of tomatoes since last week.
Market board member Said Zungu told The Citizen that as Kenyan traders had been flock to Arusha and Moshi to buy tomatoes.
However, according to him, prices are expected to stabilise in the coming few weeks as most farmers have started planting new tomatoes.
Despite the tomato shortage, current tomato prices are lower than those recorded in March and April this year, which ranged from Sh85,000 to Sh100,000.
Kariakoo market statistician Shanyangi Deogratius said expects prices to increase when the rainy season starts.
The market also has the shortage of tomatoes.