Theft of crops mainly, fruits, vegetables and maize from farms has been identified as a deterrent and setback among small scale farmers in Nakuru County. According to Chairman of South Rift Farmers’ Association, Justus Monda, the majority of the small scale farmers lack security for their crops and due to increased insecurity in the rural areas, some of them lose a lot of their produce to thieves.
Monda said that nowadays it is common for a maize farmer to wake up in the morning and find a large part of their maize crop had been harvested. Moreover, whenever they report to the police, no steps are taken.
He added that majority of their members cannot afford to employ watchmen or install CCTV cameras like the large scale farmers due to the huge costs involved that were beyond their reach. The high demand of food stuffs in urban areas contributes to increased insecurity at farms, with some growers even storing produce inside their houses.
The Chairman noted that theft of fruits such as bananas, gooseberries and passion fruits had soared alarmingly and discouraged farmers from increasing their acreage for fruit farming.