Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire signs a visitor’s book after she opened an assistant chief’s office at Mukuuri market built by her CDF on March 10, 2016. Looking on is area chief Peter Njeru (left) and his deputy. (PHOTO: BY JOSEPH MUCHIRI/STANDARD)
Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire has asked the county and national governments to allow macadamia farmers to sell their produce to the highest bidder.
Mbarire noted that the farmers are incurring losses after Chinese buyers who offered them Sh120 per kilogram were arrested last month.
She said the farmers have been left at the mercy of a cartel that has been controlling the market. “The cartel is now buying macadamia for as low as Sh40 per kilogram,” Mbarire said.
“The police are working with the cartels by pretending to enforce Agriculture Fisheries and Food Authority Act, which disallows exportation of raw nuts to frustrate foreign buyers and disconnect them from macadamia farmers,” she said.
Mbarire said farmers should not be concerned with what buyers do with the macadamia, just as is the case with other crops such as maize.
“Embu is the biggest producer of macadamia but the farmers are offered poor prices as the highest bidders are locked out in the pretence of enforcing the law on export of raw nuts. Firms should be allowed to purchase the commodity from farmers.”