WON'T SELL, CAN'T SELL

Embu mango farmers contest low broker prices

The brokers' price currently stands at Sh2.50 per mango.

In Summary
  • According to John Kathangu a mango farmer from Embu, farmers have invested a lot in the fruit and a price sh2.50 will just drown them in losses.
  • He said that farmers have been more frustrated by the county leadership who promised them value addition factories which never happened.
John Kathangu a mango farmer at his farm in Karurumo in Embu on Friday January 21,2022.
John Kathangu a mango farmer at his farm in Karurumo in Embu on Friday January 21,2022.
Image: BENJAMIN NYAGAH

Mango farmers in Embu say they would rather let their produce rot in their farms than sell it at a loss to brokers.

The brokers' price currently stands at Sh2.50 per mango.

They said brokers are not sincere since they sell the same fruit at Sh30 in  Nairobi.

According to John Kathangu a mango farmer from Embu, farmers have invested a lot in the fruit and a price sh2.50 will just drown them in losses.

Kathangu said he has spend close to Sh100,000 on his four acre piece of  land but due to lack of a ready, market he may plunge into big losses.

He said about 400 trees out of 500 in his farm are ready for harvest.

A mango plantation at John Kathangu farm in Embu.
A mango plantation at John Kathangu farm in Embu.
Image: BENJAMIN NYAGAH

According to a study, eastern region leads in mango production in Kenya by 61 percent, followed by Rift Valley at 30 percent and Coast region with 28 percent.

Kathangu said that most varieties are at their best time of the season and can fit well in local and international market.

He said that farmers have been more frustrated by the county leadership who promised them value addition factories which never happened.

He urged the government to take advantage of the situation and set up mangoes factory as well establishing international markets to raise  revenue and benefit farmers.

Mango fruits at John Kathangu farm in Embu.
Mango fruits at John Kathangu farm in Embu.
Image: BENJAMIN NYAGAH

Luka Kariuki, another farmer said due to the low broker price he cannot meet his anticipated profit from his quarter acre mango farm.

He said he had targeted close to a sh100,000 from his farm.

"I had targeted that mango farming would cater for my children education but it's proving futile. Last week my children were sent home for fees," said Kariuki.

He asked agriculture CS Peter Munya to intervene and ensure farmers benefit from the mangoes.

Linda Muthoni a mango farmer in Nguruka in Embu on Friday January 21,2022.
Linda Muthoni a mango farmer in Nguruka in Embu on Friday January 21,2022.
Image: BENJAMIN NYAGAH

Another farmer Linda Muthoni urged the government to consider reforming mango farming sector to improve farmers livelihoods. 

"We have seen tea and coffee improving and government does the same in mango farming it will improve our lives too," she said.