COVID-19 EFFECT

Farmers count losses as hotels shut

Hoteliers cancel orders as coronavirus crisis deepens

In Summary

-          Flower farmers also affected by the pandemic

-          Exports have dropped sharply due to the lockdown in Europe

-          There are over 60 major hotels in Naivasha

-          Ninety percent of them have closed down and sent their workers home

The closure of nearly all major hotels in Naivasha due to the coronavirus has left suppliers and farmers counting losses running into millions of shillings.

The most affected are those dealing with poultry and livestock products with hotels cancelling all their orders. Others affected are fresh produce traders.

Traders have now been forced to sell their products at throwaway prices while others have been forced to dispose of them after failing to get market.

Some of the affected farmers were involved in mass production ahead of the Easter season when demand is high.

The chairman of South Lake hotels in Naivasha Peter Mehta admitted that hoteliers had been forced to cancel their orders due to the crisis.

“We are sure that suppliers and farmers are suffering after their orders were cancelled but this is beyond us and there is nothing we can do as we have even closed business,” he said.

Joel Mwangi a poultry farmer said he had over 400 mature chicken which had been ordered by two of the hotels for the Easter period. He was also rearing more than 2,000 chicks. 

“Am involved in supplying eggs and chicken to three hotels and all of them have closed down due to the current crisis and I have nowhere to take the products that are ready,” he said.

 Jane Wambui who supplies fruits, milk, meat and eggs said many traders would be left bankrupt by the crisis.

“These products are perishable and cannot be stored meaning they will have to go to waste or you give them out or sell them cheaply meaning major losses for us,” she said.

A dairy farmer Abel Kiarie said that he was supplying over 300 litres of milk to Naivasha hotels.

Their closure, he said coupled by the rise in the price of livestock feed had worsened the situation with many farmers opting to sell their livestock.

“At the moment the market is flooded with milk and fresh produce and the most affected are those who supplied to various hotels,” he said.