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Avocado farmers smile to the bank after reaping big on bonuses

By Boniface Gikandi | Published Mon, December 11th 2017 at 00:00, Updated December 10th 2017 at 21:54 GMT +3
Ripe avocado cut in half on a wooden table. Farmers in Murangá are poised to get their annual bonuses (Photo: Courtesy)

Avocado farmers have shared Sh20 million as their annual bonus following direct contact with a processor.

Through negotiations by the county government and multi-national Kakuzi Ltd, 3,000 farmers drawn from 60 co-operative societies delivered their quality fruits for processing.

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In the past three years, avocado farmers have been benefiting with annual bonus from the processors depending on production, quality and size of the fruits.

In 2014, the farmers, after they complained of exploitation by middlemen, made Governor Mwangi wa Iria to scout for a market before settling on Kakuzi and other players.

On Friday, Iria witnessed the Kakuzi assistant general manager Paul Mbugua declaring the annual bonus to thousands of farmers drawn from four counties in the region.

Quality fruits

In the negotiated contract, the company buys a four-kilo carton of quality fruits at Sh420.

Mr Mbugua said this year, production of avocado remained low due to prolonged drought that led to better payment in the international market.

“Payment is made to farmers a week after delivery at the factory in Makuyu,” said Mbugua.

 Farmers, he said, should employ strategies to increase production to supply the growing market locally and internationally. 

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The governor lauded the achievement following partnership between his administration and Kakuzi that has benefited the small scale farmers who had been exploited by middlemen.

“Before 2013, our farmers were greatly exploited by brokers who bought an avocado at one shilling but presently they are reaping better payment. My administration will not entertain brokers who had been a threat,” said the governor.

“We have made elaborate plans to distribute 2 million avocado seedlings," he added.