Jua Kali traders at the Gakoromone market in Meru Town want the government to come to their aid in finding a wider market for their products.
The traders said one of the Jubilee government’s Big Four Agenda was manufacturing, thus the need to finance the Jua kali sector.
They told KNA on Tuesday that the Jua Kali sector has been sidelined by the government’s planning in terms of marketing. “The problem we are facing is lack of a ready market for our products. For instance, December is a season for mass sales of products like metal boxes as students report to schools in January.
However, according to one of the traders, Samuel Gitonga, as soon as the season is over, remaining products remain unsold. “Some of the boxes manufactured last December are still in our stores and will have to be repainted before being sold during the next season,” explained Gitonga
They are now appealing to the government to assist them find alternative markets for their products outside the country, so that they are in business in and out of “local” season arguing that the Jua Kali sector has employed so many youth across the country.
The traders also decried what they said was the high cost of raw materials, which made final products very expensive, thus attracting fewer consumers.
“We are currently making very low sales. We are calling on the government to subsidize prices of raw materials to salvage the local Jua kali industry,” stated Gitonga.
They noted that empowering the Jua Kali sector would help the country in realization of vision 2030, where the government aims at reducing imports and encouraging consumption of locally produced products.
By Richard Muhambe