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Macadamia farmers urged to form Saccos

06 March 2014, 09:23

Nairobi - Macadamia farmers have been encouraged to form savings and credit cooperative societies to enhance the chances of attaining higher profits from their produce.

James Mithara, the Coordinator for Macadamia Biashara, said that the market for the commodity was now officially open for business.

He said the development was expected to enable farmers have easy access to markets.

“A kilogramme of macadamia nut was currently selling at KES 55 from established companies. However, brokers in the rural areas are selling the same nut for between KES 15- 20 per kilogramme,” said Mithara.

Mithara added that with societies, the farmers would be safeguarded from the brokers of the produce hence enabling them to get better prices.

He also said that farmers had since compromised on the quality of nuts they sold by picking raw nuts which were then bought by brokers in very low prices.

This subsequently affected the market.

A processing factory for macadamia is situated in Thika town where the nuts are collected, processed and packed for the local and international market.

Presently, more than 100 000 small-scale farmers sell their produce through the Kenya Nut Company.

Macadamia is said to be the most popular nut in the world today. In Kenya, it is grown as an additional cash crop to coffee and tea. Local consumption nonetheless is minimal with the product mostly reserved for export.

- CAJ News

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