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Gov’t promises better prices for macadamia nuts

The Government has promised macadamia nut farmers better prices in the days to come following months of a slump in prices to as low as Sh. 20 per kilo.

Local processors have been buying macadamia nuts from farmers at a throw away price following the ban on exportation of unprocessed nuts by the government.

However, with the lifting of the ban three weeks ago by Trade Cabinet Secretary (CS) Moses Kuria, prices have started showing signs of improvement as competition rises with the opening up of market outlets across the world.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi said following the government intervention, prices had started rising with a kilo currently selling at Sh. 65 up from Sh. 20 a month ago.

Speaking in Embu Town on Tuesday when he accompanied International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President Dr. Alvaro Lario on a tour of IFAD funded projects under Upper Tana Natural Resource Management Project, Linturi said the government was keen on ensuring farmers’ earnings keep improving.

The CS said they push for further increment of macadamia prices this month from the current Sh. 65 to Sh. 100, noting that they were in talks with buyers to ensure they don’t exploit farmers.

Linturi further said depending on the output of the report of SGS, a leading Global inspection, verification, testing and certification body on the quality of the macadamia in the country, the prices could jump to Sh. 150 by June.

“We are really concerned about the welfare of our farmers so that they really appreciate that farming is a business,” he said.

The CS reported that other key areas they are seeking to address include grading and value addition that are all geared towards boosting farmers’ earnings.

By Samuel Waititu

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