County asked to find better markets for farmers
Farmers of Miomponi village in Tharaka constituency have called on Tharaka Nithi County government to help them get market for their produce.
Speaking to Kenya News Agency (KNA) the farmers, who produce tomatoes, sweet potatoes and onions, said they were selling their produce at low prices due to lack of better markets.
Mr. Stanley Mitambo, Chairperson of Muungano Water Project, said though the Sh116 million Miomponi water project implemented by the national government had enabled them to produce more crops, getting better market was still a challenge to many farmers.
He said in most cases they are forced to sell to brokers who buy cheaply because they do not have preservation methods to enable the produce stay fresh for a long time.
“Tomatoes are perishable and to avoid incurring losses, we prefer selling to brokers though we get only a small profit,” said Mr. Mitambo.
He most farmers are not able to support their families since they get small returns from their parcels of land where they spend whole day.
Ms. Sarah Gakii, a farmer, faulted the county government for making empty promises to farmers who have no other sources of income.
“Almost all of us here rely on farming to support our families and we feel sidelined by our county government which promised to help us get access to better markets but has not done anything yet,” said Ms. Gakii.
She said Deputy Governor Francis Kagwima had promised to buy produce from farmers growing green grams but did not forcing them to sell to brokers since they had to take their children back to school.
“He had promised to buy at a kilo at Sh80 but it seems that the initiative did not kick off because nobody has benefited from it,” she noted.
By Kenneth Marangu