The Central Bank of Kenya has rated food prices that include prices of common commodities in the month of February as the highest for the last one year.
In a month to month report by CBK, inflation rates in February rose sharply to a rate of 6.4 %.
This meant that the country experienced an increase of 0.62% in the inflation rate from 5.78% recorded in the month of February.
Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge during a press conference after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting that reviewed the outcome of its policy decisions and recent economic developments on January 28, 2020.
This is a drastic change compared to the same period in 2019 where the inflation rates maintained a low of 4.1%.
In the report, food prices were the common cause of the rise in inflation rate with tomatoes taking the lead at a 62.4% rise in prices.
Sifted maize flour prices rose at 49.7%, maize grains at 42.8% and onions at 23.4%.
Sukuma wiki and potatoes also adversely hurt the consumers’ pocket rising at respective rates of 15% and 4%.
Petroleum, charcoal, diesel, kerosene, electricity and LPG gas were also named as key components that led to the increased rate of inflation.
In recent weeks, Kenyans have been experiencing the pinch as tomato prices around the country rose sharply due to a biting shortage.
The scarcity saw the price of the common commodity double and triple in some areas, posing a challenge to many families already struggling in a depressed economic environment.
A crate of tomatoes that used to go for around Ksh 6,000 now costs as much as Ksh 10,000 to Ksh 12,000 depending on the seller.
According to agricultural experts, the shortage was caused by heavy rains that pounded parts of the country in December 2019, causing heavy damage to tomatoes growing on various farms.
Fuel prices in February also rose significantly where super petrol rose by Ksh2.67 to retail at Ksh112.87, compared to last month’s Ksh110.20.
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) also announced an increase for the price of diesel by Ksh2.13 to trade at Sh104.45 compared to Sh102.32 in January 2020.
The table showing rise in inflation and food prices in February 2020.