Nakuru plans EAC carrot export market to boost farmers' sales

Farmers package carrots at Mau Narok in Nakuru County on November 20, 2013
Farmers package carrots at Mau Narok in Nakuru County on November 20, 2013. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Nakuru County government is planning to set up a regional carrot export market that will meet the East African Community’s demands.

The county government also seeks to boost agriculture in the region through the move.

The County Executive for Agriculture, Dr Immaculate Njuthe, said the administration was committed to rescuing farmers from poor markets by helping them harvest quality produce.

“The reason we invited stakeholders concerned with carrot farming is in order to enlighten each other and cooperate in producing high quality products,” Dr Njuthe said during a meeting of farmers and stakeholders in Njoro.

An expert from the Agriculture Food Authority, Mr Zakayo Magara, who also spoke at the forum, said the county has the potential to feed the region's carrot demand.

Export rules

He said many carrot farmers were being denied market due to their failure to stick to export rules and regulations.

“Farmers willing to export their produce should have valid licences and be registered as exporters or else, their produce will be impounded at border points,” Mr Magara observed.

While also citing the existence of many brokers as a hindrance to market growth, he advised the county to support efforts for the creation of a regional market.

The agricultural expert also advised farmers to improve on the quality of their produce.

The County Executive for Trade, Industry, Marketing and Tourism Peter Ketyenya said he planned to meet colleagues from Uganda, Tanzania and other regional markets familiarise themselves with the existing laws and regulations.

“The county also intends to convene a conference with multinational companies early next year to promote agro-processing for value addition of the farm produce,” Dr Ketyenya said.