Tomato farmers in Kajiado County are set to reap maximum profit from their produce after the county’s move to ban on the overfilled crates of tomatoes and extended onion nets.
The overweight crates commonly known as “Turbo” and which are packed in different weights for the Nairobi, Mombasa and local markets were banned for exploiting farmers.
Kajiado County Executive Committee Member for Trade Jackline Koin, in a Press briefing, said the County has heard the cries of farmers and has made the decision to curb the exploitation of the farmers by middlemen.
“We have taken this decision to cushion farmers from continued exploitation. This unscrupulous practice has resulted in serious losses and affected their economic well-being of the farmers. It must stop with immediate effect,” said Koin.
The minister said a strong County inter-departmental team will be formed to implement the ban. Koin cited the provisions of the active Kajiado County Finance Act which had clearly stipulated the weights of both the big and small crates and nets of farm produce.
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The Act also states that the big crate is charged a levy of Sh70 while the small one is charged Sh50.
“The ban sets out to standardize units of measuring and weighing products.Those defying this order will be prosecuted,” Said Koin
She also warned transporters against hiring out their vehicles to carry the overweight crates as they risk forfeiting them to the County Government. The ban will be implemented at all revenue collection points and officers have been directed to enforce the directive.
Some of Kajiado’s biggest producers of agricultural produce are Loitokitok,Kimana, Rombo, Kitengela, parts of Kajiado East and parts of Kajiado North Sub Counties.
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Such a ban has been successfully implemented in Taita Taveta County, one of the largest producers of tomatoes.
This will be the second ban on overweight products in Kajiado County after the County successfully standardized the weight of sand carried from the county early this year.
According to FAO’s enhancing competitiveness of Africa’s small and medium agro-enterprises through the development of food packaging systems, improving food packaging enable SMAEs to access more competitive markets in turn leading to increased incomes for farmers.
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