Kenyan farmers and traders harvesting and selling unripe mangos now risk being arrested for crop abuse.
Speaking to the Nation, Tana River Crop Officer Ramadhan Mwangwero said harvesting the fruits before they mature is affecting productivity. He noted that although the mango season is approaching, the fruits are still not ready for picking and should be left until they mature enough in order for them to fetch the right market price.
"In future, the trees will certainly go barren since they are being put under pressure to yield at their irregular pace. Most of them are already yielding fruits too slowly, while others are not going to give anything this season," he said. He also said that this will render the farmers even poorer, forcing them to do away with the mature trees and start afresh with new trees.
Mwangwero said to avoid such a calamity, farmers have been warned against harvesting mangos until the Department of Agriculture gives directives. The Tana River County administration has also warned transporters against fetching the immature fruit from farmers, warning that any vehicle found with mangos before the stipulated harvest season starts will be impounded.