Kenya: Nakuru Avocado Farmers Cry Foul Over Exploitation

(file photo).

Avocado farmers in Nakuru County are crying foul over lack of market for the produce.

Mr John Mugo Munyi, a farmer in Kijabe Location, Subukia Sub-county, who abandoned maize farming for avocado, said they have been forced to sell the produce to brokers

"I'm now forced to sell my fruits at a throwaway price to brokers," he said.

Mr Moses Muthama, another farmer, said brokers buy the produce at Sh5 a piece. The farmers urged the county government, which has distributed 12,400 seedlings, to come to their rescue.

The county is sensitising farmers on the production of quality avocados for exports as well as promoting food security.

Nearly five years after embracing the lucrative fruit farming, many farmers in Nakuru County are still complaining about lack of market and exploitation by brokers.

"I switched to avocado farming and planted about 150 Hass seedlings and 100 Fuerte variety which are now ripe but I have no market to sell the fruits," said Mr Mugo

He added: "Some companies from Central Kenya promised to buy the fruits but they usually take too long to pick the fruits. Instead of seeing the fruits rot on the farm, I sell them to brokers at a throwaway price."

"Most of the time, I sell the fruits to brokers at Sh5 a piece due to lack of facilities to keep them fresh for long," said Muthama.

He said the companies that buy their fruits take too long to pick them.

The farmers urged Nakuru County government to explore the Chinese market since many farmers are eager to embrace avocado farming.

Nakuru County government has increased the agriculture docket budgetary allocation to Sh52 million in the current financial year up from Sh42 million in the previous budget to fund the avocado seedling distribution programme.

To turn the county into an avocado growing zone, the Governor Lee Kinyanjui administration is targeting to distribute avocado seedlings to 10,000 farmers in all the 11 sub-counties.

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