In Murang'a County, the rampant theft of avocados has been on the rise. This has forced local growers to beef up their security. In Makuyu and Gatanga sub-counties, farmers with more than two acres have resorted to erect electric fences and deploy security guards to keep off thieves who sneak into their farms at night to steal the produce, which is currently trading at between Sh10 and Sh15 per fruit depending on the size.
One farmer from Maragua constituency reveals he has been forced to introduce Masaai guards after he lost avocados worth an estimated Sh15,000 in a single night. He says the threat has been on the rise after leading producer, Kakuzi PLC, tightened security and installed electric fences on its expansive farm to thwart intruders.
Another growers says she has invested in fencing her farm to keep off the avocado thieves, and to protect other crops. Avocado prices, she says, shot up after tens of processors flooded Murang’a to purchase the commodity, with youth using motorcycles to transport the produce to their agents.
“Stealing of the avocados has become the normal in Kandara forcing farmers to secure their farms. Our sons guard the avocado trees to prevent the gangs from gaining access, especially after midnight,” notes Nyawira.
[ Sh100 = €0.82 ]