Meat prices in Nairobi have skyrocketed by nearly a quarter, primarily attributed to the escalating fuel expenses and the forthcoming rainy season that promises lush pastures for livestock.

The cost of a kilogramme of beef has experienced the most substantial increase to have been recorded in recent years, to retail at Ksh650 in most local butcheries, compared to its previous price of Ksh550 for the same quantity.

This surge comes as a harsh blow to consumers already grappling with the escalating prices of other essential commodities.

James Karanja, a Nairobi butcher, voiced concerns over the inadequate supply from farmers, exacerbating the shortage in the market.

He pointed out that the soaring cost of transportation has also played a significant role in driving up meat prices.

“We are not getting sufficient supplies from the farmers right tightening the supply in the market, coupled with the high cost of transport, has had a significant impact on the price,” said Mr Karanja

Meat on display in a butchery: Images. BDA.
Meat on display in a butchery: Images. BDA.

At Barma Market, one of Nairobi’s largest wholesale meat markets, the price of a kilogram of meat has surged from Ksh480 to Ksh550.

Grace Njoki, a trader at Barma, emphasised that they had no choice but to adjust meat prices to align with the prevailing market conditions, including a shortage of cows and high fuel prices.

“On the one hand is a shortage of cows in supply, while on the other is the costly fuel, all these combined have seen the cost of meat go up,” she said.

Ms Njoki further projected that meat prices might continue to rise as the country approaches the December holidays.

Nairobi’s butcheries typically depend on pastoralist counties for livestock supply. However, many of them tend to withhold their cattle during rainy seasons to fatten them up for sale at premium prices during the festive season.

Additionally, traders have attributed the price surge to the recent spike in fuel costs, which has substantially increased transportation expenses.

“Transport is one of the major costs we incur to get our merchandise to the market, and the recent rise in the cost of fuel has had a significant impact,” said Mr Karanja.

The recent doubling of Value Added Tax (VAT) and the high landed cost have propelled fuel prices to historic highs during last month’s review by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

In Nairobi, a liter of super petrol now retails at Ksh211.64, diesel at Ksh200.99, and kerosene at Ksh202.61.