FarmBiz Africa

Exporter looking for ginger, garlic, okra, pumpkin for its growing markets

Harricot Verts beans

A Nairobi based exporter is urgently looking for fresh and high quality ginger, garlic, okra, pumpkin, yams and arrow roots to meet its expanding international markets.

Luifarm Limited, grower and exporter of fresh fruits and vegetables particularly to the European Union (EU) markets and other African countries such as Djibouti has earned an extra market in Russia which will see the company’s demand for the produce increase.

“We have been exporting 7-8 tonnes of French beans per month to EU markets and some several tonnes of bad eye chillies to Djibouti but recently, the company has acquired an extra market in Russia which buys other crops,” said Mr. Mburu Njoroge, Luifarm Limited Managing Director.

The company is looking for high quality garlic 200kg, ginger 200kg, pumpkin 200kg, Okra 200kg, yams and arrow roots 200kg per week for export.

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According to Njoroge, among other requirements, the produce must meet the maximum residue limit (MRL) – the maximum amount of pesticide residue that is expected to remain on food products when a pesticide is used according to label directions.

“All the produce to be exported must go under strict screening by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) before ferried out of the country in order to ensure that all standards are met,” he said.

On this, the company has employed experienced technical advisors who advise farmers on proper use of pesticides.

“This system is working very well because up to today the company’s products have never tested positive for MRL in the EU.”

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Currently Luifarm has contracted small scale farmers in Nyandarua, Kajiado, Makueni and Machakos counties to grow harricot verts, avocados, sugar snap, mangoes, baby corn, passion fruits and snow peas.

The contracts between farmers and the contracting companies are seen and signed by the Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD) which ensure that fairness and standards are upheld.

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Due to these standards the horticulture sector in the country in the previous months has recorded a tremendous growth as compared to the preceding years.

According to the Kenya Horticulture Council, domestic horticulture sector registered good performance in 2018 with the first 10-month earnings surpassing full-year results of the previous three years.

Latest industry performance data shows Kenya earned Sh127bn in 10 months to October against full earnings for 2017 of Sh115bn, Sh101bn 2016 and Sh90bn in 2015.

Mr. Njoroge can be reached on +254728761106.

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