Eldoret-based export company Mace Foods, which was founded in 2002 by Margaret Komen, has been spearheading the cultivation of chilli, its mainstay product.
Through partnerships with farmers from the region, Mace buys the raw produce, which it then processes, before selling in international and local markets.
Through its offices in Teso, Busia(Matayos), Homabay, Kombewa, Laikipia, Eldoret and Migori farmers can purchase seeds for planting as well as get agronomical support from its trained professionals.
Margaret who pursued a degree at the University of Karlsruche in Germany was driven to start the company after attending an international food fair in Berlin, in October 2001, an event she says opened her eyes to the opportunities in food export.
When she returned home, she went into employment, where she taught farmers on value addition, before she felt confident enough to venture on her own.
Through contacts she had established in Germany, she managed to export four tonnes, and this marked the beginning of her business, which now covers spices and traditional vegetables, like Managu (Black Nightshade).
"I first sent out test samples, which were immediately accepted and I received an initial order of four tonnes, which at the time was a struggle to collect. But I managed to send it out in the required time and this marked the beginning of Mace," said Margaret.
Today Mace exports more than 200 metric tonnes of food annually.
Farmers looking to partner with Mace can reach them through 0717333035 or O720391290