Sugar snap peas farming changes growers’ fortunes in Nyandarua

A woman sorts sugar snap peas. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A woman sorts sugar snap peas. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Sugar snap peas are brightening the faces of one-time gloomy faced farmers in parts of Nyandarua County.

Of interest is labour distribution that guarantees each villager a buttered toast for their family.

While men specialise in preparing the land and spraying the crop, women do the weeding and harvesting while young men sort, grade and package at the produce Giita Bush collection centre in Kipipiri constituency.

Area agricultural officer Samuel Maina says the crop was introduced to a few farmers about four years ago, but it has today occupied more than 200 acres of land.

Sugar snap peas are similar to snow peas. The main difference is that the pods of snow peas are flat.

“We are advocating and training farmers on diversification. More farmers are embracing the crop due to guaranteed market. The sugar snap is grown for export market,” says Mr Maina.

The high seasons for this crop falls between March and June and again between November and January. An acre of the crop, growing in ideal conditions, can yield between three and five tonnes.

A kilo of the peas fetches between Sh60 in low season and up to Sh250 during the high season.

Daniel Mwangi, 28, is among young men specialising in grading and says that he earns between Sh300 to Sh500 every day. He joined this team towards the end of 2016 and he is already seeing the benefits.

“I have managed to buy a dairy cow. I am also constructing a three-bedroom house,” says Mr Mwangi, whose job involves removing pods with black spots, as well as overgrown and oversized ones.