Direct-To-Market Farmers Struggling Amid Pandemic
Farmers who sell directly to restaurants, schools, and other places that have temporarily closed amid coronavirus outbreak have been left looking for new customers.
Despite a strong demand for essential foods like dairy products, fruits and cereals amid the coronavirus pandemic, the supply chain has seen a host of disruptions that are preventing farmers from getting their products to market.
The government imposed a curfew in the country starting from 7 pm, something which has seen Western Kenya fruit and vegetable vendors incur losses unimaginably due to supply constraints.
The dusk-to-dawn curfew has brought almost everything to a standstill in the country, hence inevitable losses for the hard-working farmers.
As dealers in highly perishable goods, they say the measures introduced by both Kenya and Uganda to curb the spread of Covid-19 spell uncertainty in their trade.
According to the chairman of Kisumu Tomato Suppliers Group, importation of tomatoes from the neighboring country, Uganda is a thing of the past due to the stringent restrictions baring the movement of people and vehicles.
Clearance at the Busia and Malaba border is taking the traders up to 10 hours as they wait for medical results from both countries, Kenya and Uganda.
Mass closures of restaurants and schools in the country left the farmers to deal with a blow over the sudden decrease in demand.