Meru County is vouching for macadamia farming with various stakeholders coming on board to share experiences and recruit residents to join in establishing the crop.
Speaking at a Stakeholders’ forum at a Meru Hotel on Monday, the County Chief Officer for Agriculture, Dionisa M’Eruaki said as county government they were committed to enhancing macadamia farming by making sure that farmers were sensitised and farm inputs made affordable.
“This will be made possible through working hand-in-hand with all the stakeholders. We call upon farmers to embrace the idea so as to improve our economic base in cash crop farming,” said Mrs. M’Eruaki.
She noted that macadamia farming was profitable and less labour intensive, adding that the county government was working closely with other partners to come up with fast maturing varieties.
“With the use of grafted variety, there will be no use of pesticides and this will help farmers secure market even outside the County. The other advantage of the grafted macadamia is that they take less time to mature,” she added.
Citing poor prices as some of the challenges affecting most farmers, Mrs. M’Eruaki stated that the county government will see to it that farmers are involved in the process of deciding the prices of their produce to avoid cases of exploitation from middlemen.
“In most cases farmers get a raw deal for their investment because they are not given a chance to decide on the prices at which they want to sell their products since nut buying companies come up with their own terms,” said the Agricultural Chief Officer.
The forum brought together, researchers, processors, nursery operators, project developers, input suppliers and farmers from 20 wards in the county.
By Richard Muhambe/Brendah Gakii