French beans farmers from Subukia, Nakuru County are counting losses after their produce was rejected by an exporting company.
The farmers, who supplied over 13 tonnes of the produce to Keitt Exporters through Topline Growers in November and December, claim they were not promptly informed of the decision to reject their highly perishable produce.
Peter Waweru, one of the farmers, said they were shocked to get the information from Topline Growers two months later, and he thinks it is a plan to swindle them.
“The beans are highly perishable and information of their being rejected would have been known and communicated immediately. It is suspect that this is being disclosed to us two months later when we demanded our pay,” he said.
Waweru said officials from Topline Growers showed up with documents earlier this week indicating that over half of their November and December produce had been rejected.
“For the two months, we delivered to the company 13 tonnes of the French beans. We have been complaining about the payment.
“The explanation we are getting does not add up as even the half of the accepted consignment has not being paid for,” he said.
A section of the farmers have vowed to uproot the crop if payment will not be made.
Maina Githae, an official from Topline Growers, admitted that the said amount of produce had been rejected by the exporting company although they had not informed the farmers.
He said the beans were sold at a throw-away price in the local market and the company was still seeking a way to compensate the farmers.
“Over seven tonnes of the beans were rejected as they didn’t meet the export standards. According to the exporter, the beans’ quality was low due to heavy rains,” Mr Maina said.
“We sought an alternative market where they fetch very low prices. We are still trying to find a way of paying the farmers.”
Horticulture farmers are increasingly being locked out of the international market due to concerns over quality.