The government has negotiated with China to relax conditions they had imposed on avocados to be exported to their country.
The Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS), Mwangi Kiunjuri has observed that farmers will export their fruits to the Chinese market without giving them some value addition as was required before.
The CS who was speaking when he led an exercise of distributing avocado and macadamia seedlings in three sub counties of Murang’a on Thursday noted that some of the requirements by the Chinese government could have locked out many Kenyan farmers from the lucrative market as they lack equipment to freeze and peel off their avocado.
“As government we have negotiated with Chinese government and the conditions they had put to be observed before exporting avocados have been relaxed,” said Kiunjuri at Wangu ward in Kahuro Sub County.
He encouraged farmers to take advantage of the international market to sell their avocados and macadamia especially in Chinese market which is vast.
His ministry, the CS said is targeting to issue six million seedlings of both avocado and macadamia to farmers across the country this year.
“During the ongoing long rains, we are giving out 2.4 million certified seedlings of avocado and macadamia across the country. Next season beginning October to December, more than 4.5 million seedlings will be given out,” he further highlighted.
Murang’a, a county which is leading in production of hass avocado will in the current season benefit with 30,000 seedlings.
“Farmers should take advantage of the seedlings we are giving as they are of high quality and once they mature a farmer will be in a position to raise more than Sh.10,000 per tree in every harvest season,” he noted.
Other seedlings the ministry is giving out are of tea and coffee with the CS calling upon farmers to register so as to benefit in the programme.
The exercise of giving the seedlings came barely a week after the county government of Murang’a gave out 500, 000 seedlings of avocado to farmers drown across the county.
Kiunjuri cautioned farmers from selling their fruits to brokers, urging them to join cooperatives which will be exporting their produce directly to international markets.
Brokers, he added that for a long time have been exploiting farmers by buying their produce for a song.
“We will establish strong cooperatives to help in collecting and marketing of farmers produce directly to foreign
countries. The cooperative should seal loopholes exploited by middlemen who buy farmers produce at a throw away prices,” he added.
He called for proper management of the Saccos, noting they should not be run like those of coffee and tea which exploited farmers through poor management and embezzlement of farmers’ returns.
Other leaders present, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, Muturi Kigano (Kangema) and their Mathioya counterpart, Peter Kimari luaded the president for sourcing international markets for avocado.
“My constituency is among the top producer of avocado and issuance of the quality seedlings will in future ensure local people increase their earning through selling of avocado and macadamia,” said Nyoro.
By Bernard Munyao