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Earnings from mango sales increase

COUNTY_UPPER EASTERN
By - | Mar 29th 2013 | 2 min read
By - | March 29th 2013
COUNTY_UPPER EASTERN

By Joseph Muchiri

Embu, Kenya: Mango farmers in Embu County have earned Sh28 million from the sales of the produce since January.

This is attributed to high yielding mango varieties, better farming practices and marketing in groups thus eliminating middlemen exploitation.

A Kenya Agricultural Productivity and Agribusiness Programme (Kapap) survey showed the farmers saw a tremendous increase in earnings from the Sh5 million per season they fetched before.

Kapap Embu Service Unit director Anthony Gateri said farmers working in groups sold their produce in a regulated programme hence fetching more returns.

Speaking during a farmer’s field day at Karurumo in Runyenjes constituency yesterday, Mr Gateri said a value addition programme funded by the Government and the World Bank had seen the quality of mango improve followed by an increase in price from Sh3 in 2010 to Sh7 per mango this season. 

“Over 1,400 farmers have benefited from the programme and more are expected to join the value chain which will assist in marketing of their produce,” he said.

He said they engaged experts to work with the groups and trained farmers on better production techniques, disease control, grading and sorting and linked farmers with various market outlets.

“We engaged stakeholders like International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology and Techno-serve who have helped change the fortunes of mango farmers by providing pheromone impregnated fruit fly traps that have helped get rid of the nagging insects,” he said.

Engaged experts

He said Kapap through engagement of experts have got markets in Nyandarua, Nairobi and even in Uganda, Rwanda and now Burundi.

“The farmers groups have purchased a one acre piece of land through buying of shares and have put up a pulping unit which is helping in processing mango juice. The unit can also pulp passion fruit when the mangoes are out of season,” explained Gateri. He said mango fly and mango weevil, which had been a challenge, have been contained.

He said the county has about 1,700 hectares under mango trees with each hectare holding about 500 trees and each bush yielding between 300-400 mangoes.

He expressed hope that production will go up next season.


 

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