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Macadamia farmers cry for help

Macadamia farmers from Murang’a have protested abandonment by the government in reviving the dying crop trade.

Despite heated campaigns to have it resurged from the knees of collapse, they lamented that the crop was, like coffee on the verge of losing its taste as they do not enjoy farming the crop.

The angry farmers said that they have continued to rot in abject poverty as the crop does not yield noteworthy returns adding that continued deterioration of the crop prices has seen a notable percentage of farmers uproot macadamia trees. They said that the government has denied them necessary farm inputs such as fertilisers and manure.

Speaking during a sensitisation forum organised by Nuts Traders Association of Kenya (Nutak), the farmers said the major challenge they were facing was invasion of the sector by brokers who have been hoodwinking them and consequently purchasing the product at a throw away price. They said that the brokers have been buying immature nuts and have disallowed farmers to discover better markets.

Led by Joseph Mugera, the farmers also took issue with their parliamentary representatives for disowning the fight to have section 43 of the Agricultural and Food Authority (AFA) abolished.

The regulation states that “a person shall not export raw cashewnuts, pyrethrum, bixa, macadamia or any other agricultural product as may be prescribed, except with the written authority of the cabinet secretary”.

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