A Nairobi based company; Golden Solutions is looking for a steady supply of at least two tonnes of fresh green chilli per day from all-comers.
Currently, the company is facing a shortage of six tonnes of the produce per week and is seeking for farmers to bridge this gap.
“At the moment, we are looking for farmers who can supply us with a minimum of 0.5 to one tonne of chilli per day for export to Germany and the United Kingdom,” said Eric Wachira, the Procurement Manager at Golden Solutions.
“Our company was founded three years ago and has contracted over 30 farmers over the period; we pay Sh60 per kilogram of every chilli supplied, however, the price may vary and may go up to Sh80 depending on the demand,” said Wachira
Chili is an all-season crop that can be planted at any time of the year. However, with the ongoing rains all over the country, farmers can take advantage to plant the crop. The normal planting season began in the first week of March and the rains are expected to continue until June according to the Kenya Meteorological department.
A farmer interested in supplying chilli to the company has to partner with them from the initial stages of nursery establishment to harvesting. In this, the farmer receives advice on how to grow and enhance yields from an agronomist attached to Golden Solutions.
According to the Center for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI), an organization which is part of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenya is one of the medium to large suppliers of chilli to the European Union majorly Germany, the UK and France.
Fresh green chilli in the farm
In 2016, Kenya exported approximately 3,000 tonnes of the product to the European Union. Besides Kenya, Morocco (19,100 tonnes) and Turkey (11,100 tonnes) were the leading non-European supplier of chilli peppers. Other medium to large suppliers to the EU include Serbia, India, Uganda and Macedonia.
The European Union imports of chilli from grew from a supply of 37,000 tonnes in 2012 to 45,000 tonnes in 2016, a 27 per cent increase.
In 2016, France was the largest importer of chilli from non-European countries accounting for 13,000 tonnes of the total imports. They were followed by the United Kingdom and Spain with six tonnes each, Germany with two tonnes and Netherlands with just one tonne.
Fresh green chilli is rich in vitamin C, an important element that improves the immune system. It is used to make food spices.
Farmers intending to venture into chilli farming can source seeds from Simlaw Seeds, a subsidiary of the Kenya Seed Company. Simlaw sells 10g at Sh50, 25g at Sh85, 50g at Sh160 and 250g at Sh600.
Eric Wachira can be reached on +254 710 834 650.