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    By George Munene

    Talks are ongoing between the Kenyan and Djibouti governments on the export of miraa/khat to the East African country. Kenya is also in talks with The Democratic Republic of Congo and plans to engage other African nations in an effort to find an alternative to the lucrative Somali market where the stimulant remain embargord.

    Related News: Halt in miraa exports grounds Sh16M daily trade

    "In the next two weeks, the trade minister of Djibouti will be in Kenya. We hope to have him visit miraa farms in Mau to show him where and how how the miraa we hope they'll be exporting is farmed," said Lawrence Karanja, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Ministry of Industrialization, Trade & Enterprise Development.

    Speaking in Meru County, the CAS added that there exists plenty of opportunity in agricultural trade with landlocked Djibouti which imports most of it's agroproduce especially fruits such as avocados and bananas.

    Related News: Ministry of agriculture sets up Sh48M credit fund for miraa farmers

    The miraa agricultural sub-sector is the main source of livelihood for up to 50,000 households. A diplomatic impasse which has lasted over 1½ years between Kenya and Somalia--the crop's main export market--has however ground it's trade which netted about Sh16 million daily.

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    2018 06 09 Kenya Tea CT 33

    By George Munene

    According to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya the average prices of smallholder teas have jumped 40 percent at auction owing to the minimum reserve price put in place by the government in July this year.

    The recorded increase is from an average of Sh209.38 to Sh293.13 per kilogram from the sales of July and part of September 2021. This translated to increased revenue of 172 million shillings within a one-month period.

    The government through KTDA at the beginning of July set the minimum reserve price for processed tea at the Mombasa auction at Sh268. This unprecedented move was aimed at cushioning smallholder farmers. 

    Related News: Eldoret company develops tea picking device halving production costs

    Related News: Njeru Industries shakes up tea buying with fast payments

    While introducing the reserve price, the KTDA board and the Agriculture CS noted that tea prices had declined below production cost making it difficult for smallholder producers to make a profit from their tea.

    “The payments made to smallholder tea growers through Kenya Tea Development (KTDA) factories declined from Sh58.76 per kilogram in 2016-2017 to Sh36.64 a kilogram in 2019-2020. Reforms within the tea sector are vital in arresting this worrying trend,” Munya pointed out.  

    The CS further added that KTDA through the Agriculture ministry has requested a fertiliser subsidy worth Sh1 billion which will reduce fertiliser cost from Sh3,073 to Sh2,473 per kilogram bag.

    Related News: Bomet County begins direct tea sales to Iran, offering farmers improved prices

    The tea sub-sector earns the country over Sh120 billion annually and is the primary source of livelihood for over 650,000 farmers supporting over 6.5 million people.

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    farm africa res

    By George Munene

    The Farm Africa Growing Futures project is helping over 4,000 young farmers in western Kenya acquire the skills to grow vegetables that are in high demand then linking them to domestic and international markets.

    The funding is focused on western Kenya where 80 per cent of the unemployed population is under 35, with farming employing 70 per cent of the country’s rural population.

    The youth aged between 18-35 years are trained to acquire technical assistance in horticultural production and agronomy, helping the farmers produce the quantity and quality of produce demanded by high-value buyers and certification schemes.

    Related News: Agritech startup giving market to small-scale banana, pumpkin, sweet potato, arrowroot & yam growers

    Related News: Kenyan mango farmers resume exports to lucrative European market

    They are provided with access to agricultural technologies such as drip-irrigation systems, fertilisers, seeds, and pesticides.

    The farmers are further linked to domestic and international markets through training to help them meet export markets’ standards. Once trained farmer groups then facilitated to secure export contracts guaranteeing a market for their produce.

    Founded in 2011, Farm Africa is helping farmers in Trans-Nzoia and Elgeyo Marakwet Counties capitalise on the growing demand for produce such as French beans, mangetouts, kale, tomatoes, and cabbages.

    “Growing Futures focuses on the youth who are unable to continue schooling and are interested in venturing into agriculture. They acquire technical skills on crop production as well as business skills on how to run their farms as a business,” explained the project’s coordinator Mary Nyale.

    Related News: Meru sunflower farmers get ready market from climate adaptation project

    For Joseph Kiplagat, the project has been a godsend. After failing to secure an office job, the father of four ventured into agriculture. 

    Initially struggling to make ends meet while sorely growing maize, through Farm Africa, he shifted to cultivating a mix of vegetables which has enabled him maximise his profits. 

    The project which also operates in Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and DR Congo is funded by supermarket chain Aldi UK. Medicor Foundation and UK aifd. 

    Farm Africa: 254 20 273 1664/ 254 721 576 531/ 254 734 721 208

    Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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