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Prices soar as festive season draws closer

Tuesday December 15 2020
festive pic

Moshi. With the festive season only days away, prices of staple foodstuffs have soared in and around Moshi.
Goats whose meat is used to prepare a delicacy that is popular here at the peak of festivities are now selling at twice their normal prices.
It is the same case for cattle slaughtered for beef and sumptuous stew as families in Kilimanjaro congregate for year-end holidays.
A goat at the Moshi market was selling between Sh200,000 and Sh300,000 at the weekend, twice the pre-December prices.
Prices can be higher depending on the size of the animal, a survey by this newspaper at the livestock markets indicated.
A livestock trader in Moshi, Mr Ibrahim Massawe, said goats were selling at between Sh120,000 and Sh150,000 each last month.
“The hiking of price is only because of the rising demand of the animals for the family parties during Christmas and New Year,” he said. It emerged, however,that prices were much higher as the middlemen in livestock trading capitalised on the situation.
“These brokers would always need their cut in the value chain. Eventually it is the final consumer who will bear the cost,” he said.
He noted that one quarter of the goat price can end up in the pockets of the middlemen as they wield so much powers.
For instance, he explained, some Sh50,000 out of Sh200,000 used to buy a big goat can go to a broker.
At the peak of the festivities, Christmas Day and New Year, one goat can sell for up to Sh300,000 to Sh350,000 in Moshi.
Mr Massawe, who operates from the Moshi abattoir, said the situation is more or less the same for cattle prices. Beginning this month, each head of cattle has been selling at up to Sh800,000 from  Sh600,000, attributing the rise to the demand.
However, the owner of Kilimanjaro Plaza, a popular eating joint in Moshi said price hikes for foodstuffs was common during this time of the year.
“There is nothing strange on this. It is the tradition of people here to go on a feasting spree during Christmas and New Year,” said Ms Esther Kessy.
Besides meat, price of another essential food item -the cooking oil - is reported to have gone up in many markets in the Moshi municipality.
Ms Asha Mdee,who operates in the informal markets said she has been forced to hike the cooking oil price because the suppliers have increased their wholesale prices.
“I used to buy one carton of cooking oil for Sh65,000. But the suppliers are now selling to us for Sh87,000 to Sh90,000 per carton,” she told The Citizen.
She said the ‘Safi’ cooking oil brand which was sold at Sh 3,500 a litre was now being sold at Sh4,500.

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By Maryasumta [email protected] [email protected]

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