Pineapple farmers in Homa Bay County have been advised to form cooperatives societies to facilitate large scale sales of their produce to increase their returns.
Homa Bay County Executive Member of Agriculture, livestock and fisheries Aguko Juma said that the farmers could not acquire certified seeds through the cooperatives which were critical in procurement of the seeds for farmers.
He urged the farmers to make partnerships with big companies like Twiga Foods Limited who buy in bulk and pay on spot as a way of keeping the cartels at bay.
The CECM said, “Partnering with big companies is advantageous because these companies will buy the produce in large quantities and issue you with a receipt on the spot.”
Aguko noted that farmers have been constantly exploited by cartels who buy from them with a promise of being paid once the pineapples are processed but fail in fulfilling the made promises.
While talking to KNA in his office, he revealed that the county government has no plans of supporting the farmers.
However, he added that they have already identified a private developer from the United Kingdom who will facilitate the establishment of an aggregation center with a solar power cooling facility that will enable farmers to store their produce.
Pineapples which are majorly grown on large scale in Rangwe constituency and Chabera in Rachuonyo East Constituency, Homa Bay County, are basically for the local market, according to the administrator.
There are 3000 farmers producing pineapples in the county but the majority of the farmers live in poverty as a result of exploitation by buyers and lack of knowledge in marketing strategies.
By Sitna Omar