News and knowhow for farmers

Thika pickle Company maker buys tomatoes, onions and garlic across Kenya

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CentroFood industries, the manufacturer of a variety of branded products such as tomato sauce, chilli sauce, fruit jam, fruit juice and bottled mineral water is providing ready market for farmers’ horticulture crops such as tomatoes, chilli, garlic onions, plums, pineapples and mangoes.

The company which is located in Thika purchases crops from smallholder farmers at a negotiable price. All a farmer has to do is to contact them online through their website and place a request detailing the type of produce they have by filling in a form on the contacts section and forward it.

Alternatively, a farmer can visit CentroFood industries physically with a sample of their produce such as tomatoes and the officer in charge of quality assurance will test the produce to ascertain the value. This is usually done immediately and takes five to ten minutes.


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CentroFood purchases whatever package a farmer has and doesn’t have the minimum or maximum amount to begin with. The company’s value added products are sold to retailers and supermarkets within the COMESA region within 19 countries, these include Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea, Djibouti, Madagascar, Rwanda, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Comoros, Egypt, Seychelles, Zambia, Mauritius, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Libya.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, over one billion tonnes of food which constitutes about 70 per cent of fresh farm produce rots on the farm before it reaches consumers due to lack of or inadequate markets. The continent, thus, is still a huge importer of food and spends $35bn importing foodstuff although it has 60 per cent of the world’s uncultivated arable land.

Joram Kaindi, a tomato farmer at his greenhouse farm in Mombasa.PHOTO/FILE

A case study by the University of Venda, School of agriculture, department of agricultural economics and agribusiness conducted in 2016 found out that the reason why most rural communities cannot improve their living standards is due to the fact that they face difficulties in accessing markets. Farmers are thus forced to sell their produce at whatever price the buyer dictates.         

The horticultural industry earnings in Kenya hit the Sh101.5bn mark in 2017, a 12 per cent increase from the previous year. Out of these, cut flowers fetched Sh70.8bn, which was 8.8 per cent higher compared to 2016.

Vegetables earned Sh23.4bn, a two per cent increase as from 2015 with export volumes increasing by 10,000 units to 78,791 tonnes.

Farmers can contact the following representatives for any enquiries


Sales representative



Upcountry key

John Ombima


[email protected]

Nairobi key

Caroline mwarania


[email protected]


Matthew magondu




John Gitau




James Kihuria




Rahab Mungai



Central rift

Joyce Bwabi



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