Pyrethrum growing counties have been urged to supply farmers with seedlings, since this was an opportune time to plant the much-needed flower and earn the country foreign exchange to cushion the economy against the projected slump due to covid-19.
The Chairman of Farmers’ Association South Rift, Justus Monda said with pyrethrum being a cash crop always needed because of its use in the production of natural insecticides and pesticides, this was the ideal time to increase acreage.
Speaking on Wednesday during a press conference in Nakuru town, Monda said in the 1990s, the flowers used to earn the country Sh.20 billion annually but since a number of farmers uprooted them due to laxity in payment of resultant earnings, the amount has reduced to a mere Sh.15 million per year.
However, he said former farmers were still nostalgic about the flowers, since all the other ventures they have tried such as dairy, maize and Irish potatoes has never earned them as much as the pyrethrum.
Monda said a number of Chinese companies were ready to contract farmers to grow the flowers for their factories but they lacked seedlings..
The Chairman urged all the former pyrethrum growing counties to hasten the growing and supplying of seedlings before the rains dwindled, saying they would forever be remembered as governors who assisted the country to revive the economy during a serious pandemic.
He added that in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a need for strategic thinkers to salvage the country from imminent economic collapse, and pyrethrum has the capacity of assisting such advisors.
By Veronica Bosibori