Two merchants arrested in possession of immature avocados

Immature avocados. [iStockphoto]

Two merchants found in possession of immature avocados were apprehended in Murang’a during a crackdown.

In an operation to stop the harvesting of immature avocados, three vehicles transporting the consignment to an unknown destination were intercepted in Kandara by police. 

The arrest of the merchants comes three weeks after Tanzanian authorities intercepted a consignment at the Namanga border point destined for export.

Kandara Deputy County Commissioner Peter Maina said the operation followed a tip-off from the public on the harvesting of the immature produce by the youth.

Maina said the theft of avocados was on the rise, thus the need to arrest the situation. He lauded the community initiative to stop the vice.

“Before Horticulture Crops Directors (HCD) issues a directive on harvesting, police will remain on the highways dealing with those flouting the regulations,” he said.

Two weeks ago, farmers cornered two youths harvesting immature avocados in Kandara.

The controversy surrounding the harvesting of immature avocados and the interception of four trucks at the Namanga border point caused a major rift between HCD Acting Director Christine Cesaro and Avocado Society of Kenya CEO Ernest Muthomi. 

Murang’a Chairman of Avocado Producers John Mwaniki said there have been meetings to educate the locals against harvesting of immature avocados.

Mwaniki said the dealers' licenses of those perfecting the black market need to be cancelled.

“We as an organisation are working towards producing quality commodities eying the lucrative export market,” said Mwaniki.

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