Macadamia farmers defend new price of Sh100 per kg

Farmers display samples of macadamia nuts at Gatitu Village in Nyeri on March 22, 2023. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

Farmers community groups have moved to ensure they sell macadamia for Sh100 per kilo. 

The groups in the Mt Kenya region have taken the initiative after the Nut Traders Association of Kenya (Nutak) announced the suspension of section 43 of the Crops Act 2013 by the Ministry of Agriculture that allows the export of the in-shell macadamia.  

The association officials pitched a camp at Mathare ini village in Kigumo, where they educated the farmers on the need to harvest mature nuts and avoid being exploited by middlemen.

Esther Githambo, a macadamia farmer, lauded the decision to fix the price saying last year she incurred losses after collapse of the market. 

“The farmers are ready to defend the price of Sh100 per kilogramme for the nuts and ignore the dealers offering us less,” she said. 

Last year, the farmers incurred losses estimated at billions of shillings after they resorted to hawking the produce at less than Sh30 per kilogramme. 

Association Chairman Johnson Kihara said it was sad that leaders in central Kenya have failed to protect the interests of the people, especially those in the macadamia sector. 

He said the leaders in Western, Nyanza and Rift Valleys defend the price of sugar and maize in Parliament and public forums. 

Kihara urged the Mt Kenya region leadership to move fast and formulate laws that will protect the interests of coffee, tea, macadamia and avocado by removing the punitive regulations. 

“It is high time that come October this year, the leaders in Central lobby to have section 43 of the Crop Act removed completely and allow free export of the in-shell,” said Kihara. 

A market linkages expert, Simon Kimani, said there was a huge market for macadamia, tea, coffee and avocado. 

“We have ready market for the nuts in China, which are offering the best price, and that's why we are seeking farmers to only go for the processors buying the same at not less than Sh100 per kilogramme,” said Kimani. 

Mzee Nathan Ngonjo said the civic education offered by the association was crucial as it would save the farmers from exploitation.

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