Serving The People

Eliminating middle men can improve horticulture

2 min read

Farming has created employment for millions of Kenyans.

Indeed, experts say that for the country to achieve food security and more youths should venture into farming.

However, due to delays in payment and price fluctuations for main cash crops in Kenya, farmers have opted out for horticulture and dairy farming.

Irish potatoes, cabbage, peas, carrots and kales take 3 months to mature and get ready for the market.

This is the reason farmers in Nakuru and Kiambu counties are reaping big for supplying groceries to major towns throughout the year making gains to supplement them with their daily meal.    

According to farmers from Molo, Kuresoi, Elbergon and Njoro, horticulture came up due to unending woes in delayed payments from government agencies and the closure of pyrethrum factories which left them with no option other than growing fast maturing crops.  

Horticulture in these areas face challenges like poor roads and unpredictable weather conditions which make it hard in transportation of their goods to the market, making them go bad and award them loses.

The other major challenge is middlemen who exploit both the producers and the consumers.

For example, a head of cabbage weighing 1kg costs between Sh5 and Sh10 at the farm but it trades at 100 shillings in Nairobi or utmost 50 shillings in other towns. The same applies to Irish potatoes where a 20kg bucket goes for Sh20 at the farm but ends up trading at 700 to 1000 shillings in Nairobi.

By Pherah Gesare

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