OVERPRODUCTION AND WASTE

Dry, preserve and package veggies to help farmers — MP

When there's no market, farmers feed vegetables to domestic animals

In Summary

• Lari MP Mburu said residents grow cabbages, kale, spinach and broccoli sold daily in at Soko Mjinga, Kinale, Kimende and Nyambare trading centres.

• Agriculture ministry should come up with a programme o to dry, preserve and package vegetable products, MP said. 

Vegetables in a market.
LOTS OF VEGETABLES: Vegetables in a market.
Image: MAURICE ALAL

A legislator in Kiambu county has urged the government to assist vegetable farmers to reduce the wastage caused by overproduction.

Lari MP Jonah Mburu said farmers end up in selling their produce at throwaway prices, due to overproduction and poor markets.

Speaking in his office on Tuesday, he said residents grow cabbages, kale, spinach and broccoli and sell them daily at godowns at Soko Mjinga, Kinale, Kimende and Nyambare trading centres.

"Everyday, those go-downs are flooded with vegetables. They are all transported to different markets in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and even Malindi," he said.

"At times, our farmers complain of poor sales of sukuma wiki whereby a bag costs Sh100 and at times Sh 1,500," the MP said.

If we don't protect farmers from middlemen, we might frustrate them. We need a channel where they can benefit and selling produce at attractive prices, no matter the weather
Lari MP Jonah Mburu

Sometimes a cabbage sells for just Sh2 on a farm, meaning there's no profit.

"When the market is not working, they harvest all these sukuma, cabbages and spinach and feed them to domestic animals," the MP said.

"This is a lot of wastage, and we need to help them conserve and save our farmers," he said.

The legislator appealed to the Agriculture ministry to come up with a programme of drying, preserving and packaging vegetable products as a strategy to protect farmers.

"If we don't protect farmers from middlemen, we might frustrate them. We need a channel where they can benefit and be selling their farm produces at an attractive price no matter the weather," the MP said.

Nyambare godown chairman Samuel Gachira says every day about 20 or 25 lorries transport vegetables from the constituency.

"When it rains, production rises and when it dries, the production declines but the demand in urban areas remains and people struggle to get the vegetables," Gachira said.

(Edited by V. Graham)

Lari MP Jonah Mburu speaking to journalists on Tuesday at Kimende town.
OVERPROUCTION: Lari MP Jonah Mburu speaking to journalists on Tuesday at Kimende town.
Image: GEORGE MUGO