Una tilapia is selling like hot cake in Mombasa. [Photo/aperderpeso.com]

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Una Tilapia imported from China has been reported to be a well sought after commodity in Mombasa County.

Its selling price which is a third that of the local variety from Kisumu is what has made it sell like hot cake.

Gordon Ngoge, a fishmonger in Mombasa said many customers buy the una tilapia variety because of its lower price selling at between Sh160 and Sh300 per kg depending on the size as compared to Sh500 per kg for the local Kisumu variety.

The Nile perch (mbuta) goes for Sh320 per kg, prawns at Sh800 per kg and octopus at Sh 250 per piece.

Ngoge said customers have developed a taste for the una tilapia variety as it is cheaper and sweeter than the local Kisumu variety.

Fish traders usually source their stocks locally from Kisumu, Malindi and Lamu. However, with the current entry of the Chinese variety, the future of the local fishermen hangs in the balance.

According to Ngoge, rising political temperatures in the country have caused business to slow down as the consumption has slowed down due to reduced hotel business.

His sentiments were reiterated by Sammy Mwaluma who lamented that they could clear their stock in two days before the elections. 

“I pray the political heat cool down. Economy has gone down and it is becoming difficult to sell our goods. There is no money and number of customers is reducing,” said Mwaluma, as quoted by Business Daily.

Mwaluma said currently, the same stock takes up to four days to clear as customers who used to take 15 kgs are now buying 10 kgs.