Traders selling onions and tomatoes along Nairobi-Mombasa highway. Traders adopting road side markets to sell directly to motorists and passangers. Photo courtecy.
Joseph Imorago, farmer from Kuresoi North, Nakuru County is selling his crop produce such as potatoes, carrots and green beans along Nakuru-kisumu and Nakuru-Sirare highways targeting long distance travelers earning Sh160,000 a season as opposed to Sh100,000 selling his produce to traders who buy from the farm paying less despite offering ready market.
These highways also pass busses and private vehicles ferrying dozens of people and items from Nairobi to western Kenya. Most of the towns in Rift Valley such as Narok, Nakuru, Molo and Bomet are some of the major stopping points where passengers have breaks for meals or to buy items.
“Buses and vehicles passing here carry people to or from Nairobi who are fond of our food produce because they are fresh from the farm and we measure in good quantity than in the towns where traders are targeting high profit from small amount of produce,” said Imorago
Some of the standing points where Imorago and colleagues have set their stands where they stage their items while selling include Mau Samit and Molo Town. According to him, bus and transit drivers know these places. They therefor slow down or stop to buy carrots, green beans, tomatoes and potatoes.
Drivers know these points where we sell our produce, some slow down while others such as private vehicles drivers stop and park vehicles to buy items here. We therefore need to be faster as there is no time to bargain much.
He sell potatoes in several quantities, two kilogram goes for about Sh60 each, a bucket of 20 lItres full of potatoes goes at Sh200 each, a bag of 50kilos fetches Sh2000 each and a bag of 90kilos he sells at sh3500 each.
To help him cope with the much activities from the farm to the roadside, Imorago involves his wife in the business. In the morning the wife would be at the road doing the sales while he does harvesting before transporting the produce using his motorbike to the road.
He joins his wife at noon to join hands in sales and run the business until in the evening. This process continues through the season until the crops are over then the two would embark on farming for the next season.
“We support one another to keep the business going. The profit we earn is almost double as compared to when we could have sold our produce to traders,” said Imorago.
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He owns two acres of land which he has sub-divided to grow green beans, shangi variety of potatoes, carrots and vegetables among other crops.