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Kenya farmers ready for more trade and less aid

The recent pledge by Asda chief executive Andy Bond to source an additional £30m worth of fresh produce from African farmers over the next five years, was a welcome relief by East African Farmers especially from Kenya after the recent elections violence which rocked the country.

Although most of the Horticulture farms in Kenya were not directly affected by the violence, many farmers are concerned by the negative publicity generated during this period.

Of greater concern however is the lack of growth in the trade of fruits and vegetables from East Africa and the rest of the world. Many of the farmers had hoped after investing in eurepGAP certification trade opportunities would come flooding, which would push up prices and allow them to make returns on investments. Unfortunately, this has not been the case for many of the certified farmers who are yet to make their returns on investment.

Many farmers feel despite producing fresh good quality and renowned tasting fruits and vegetables such as French beans, sugar snaps, mange tout, the world market has not responded with enthusiasm. In fact many of the farmers are switching to alternative food crops which are in short supply locally.

What many farmers find of interest is in the world food shortages being reported in the media yet, no one has been forthcoming with request to purchase their foods crops.

In conclusion however, many of the farmers feel a lot more efforts need to go into marketing the quality of their produce for there is a clear mis-match between supply and demand and by aggressively marketing Africa fresh produce by respective governments, many farmers will finally benefit from increased trade and less aid.

Thomas Mbugua - Director
Afrigarnics LImited
Afrigarnics House
P O Box 50543
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 (020) 6922311
Fax: +254 (020) 8562198

Publication date: 5/9/2008


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