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Standard measurement units to protect crop value

In a bid to safeguard the economic interests of local farmers, authorities have issued a call for the consistent use of standardised units of measurement when weighing agricultural produce.

The move aims to prevent farmers from losing out on the accurate value of their crops and falling prey to opportunistic middlemen.

Marakwet West Sub-County Co-operatives Officer Stanley Kigen emphasised the significance of adhering to uniform measurement standards.

Kigen highlighted the unfortunate trend where intermediaries exploit deviations in measurement to their advantage, resulting in financial losses for the farmers.

These discrepancies can lead to compromised prices for the produce when it reaches external markets.

While commending those who employ the appropriate units of measurement when selling commodities like milk and grains through cooperative societies, Kigen raised concerns about the handling of crops such as mangoes and watermelons.

These fruits and vegetables often lack standardised measurement practices, making them susceptible to unfair trade practices.

Kigen further urged farmers engaging in contractual farming arrangements to collaborate with relevant government bodies during negotiations.

This collaborative approach can help shield farmers from falling victim to deceitful practices and ensure they receive their rightful compensation.

“By involving the appropriate authorities, farmers can confidently navigate contractual agreements without fear of exploitation,” he noted.

Expressing disappointment over farmers’ limited understanding of market demands, Kigen encouraged proactive engagement with market dynamics.

He highlighted the benefits of market research to identify trends and consumer preferences, allowing farmers to tailor their production to meet demand effectively.

For those farmers who have not yet integrated into cooperative societies, Kigen strongly recommends joining these community-focused organisations.

Cooperative societies offer several advantages, including collective bargaining power and a platform for sharing knowledge and resources.

“By working together within these cooperatives, farmers can enhance their economic outcomes and protect themselves from unfair market practices,” he added.

As the call for standardised units of measure reverberates across Marakwet West Sub County, local farmers have an opportunity to safeguard their livelihoods and contribute to the growth of the agricultural sector.

Through collective efforts, informed decisions, and proactive participation in the market, farmers can cultivate a more equitable and prosperous future for themselves and their communities.

By Rennish Okong’o

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