The Chairman of the Nuts Traders Association of Kenya Johnson Kihara asserted during Planters Yielded more than 65, 000 Metric Tons of Macadamia
By Abdul Rahman Bangura-
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone– Kihara reported on Monday, December 26th, 2022 that a kilo of macadamia was being sold at not less than Sh90, associating the reasonable prices to a healthy business rivalry by the various processors.
Accordingly, the Chairman discerned that a segment of coffee growers particularly in parts of central Kenya have changed positions to macadamia agriculture after prices of the nuts went up.
“The number of macadamia farmers has gone up. This has led to more production and equally increased processors, who have occasioned competition, thus better prices,” he noted.
There are roughly 6,000 macadamia planters in the nation, with the bulk of them entering from the Mount Kenya area. Kihara told, 2022 prices were far good announcing in the past two years; the sales were greatly affected by the effects of Covid-19.
“The macadamia sector was however able to withstand the turbulence at the global market posed by various factors including Covid-19 and this has seen the farmers get good returns,” he mumbled.
He remarked that Kenya is ranked third in the world in the production of macadamia, which has an enormous ability to increase the economic growth of the country.
Kihara noted that licThe ensuing of new 35 processors from the previous five by the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) has helped farmers rs to get a wider market for their macadamia products.
“During the year under review, no macadamia nuts were left in the farms, unlike before when a processor would only buy the required quantity, leaving a lot of waste in the homesteads,” he expanded.
Kihara however decried increased theft of macadamia from farms saying the crime is being perpetuated by a crooked process, whose goal is to earn reasonable nuts and smuggle them out of Kenya.
“The theft of macadamia brings down earnings of farmers and also leads to harvesting sub-sector nuts which always go to waste,” he told.
“AFA is the sole regulator of the macadamia sub-sector, but it appears like the officers have gone to bed with the processors, leading to a compromise instead of fighting for the farmers,” he said.
He asked AFA officers to be fully involved in the entire macadamia value chain from the planting of the seedlings to the marketing component, which was not being done at the moment.
“Currently, the officers only purport to exert their authority when the farmers are harvesting as they try to control the market, which is of little benefit,” he said.
KihaI also called for the revival of a petition tabled in parliament way back in 2016 to have Section 43 of the Crop Act 2013 amended and also seal all the loopholes, which allow the illegal smuggling of the nuts.
A macadamia grower from Kandara sub-county, Peter Maina announced he got over Sh150, 000 from the produce, up from Sh100, 000 he got last year.
“The nuts are giving us better returns compared to coffee. I have planted about 30 trees on my farm and I intend to add more to boost production,” said Maina.
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent