Cassava farmers in Kilifi County are crying foul after failing to get market for their produce, yet they were enticed to grow the crop with hope for big returns.

Lilian Ziro, one of the farmers who grew the crop on four acres in Majivuni village, said she leased the land at Sh3,000 monthly to invest in Tajirika, a high-yielding cassava variety recommended by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization for the Coast region.

โ€œFor several years, I have not been able to sell my cassava even after dedicating my resources to this project. I want to plant another crop that will help me raise money to meet my financial needs,โ€ said Ziro.

She said farmers are counting losses after cultivating the crop for three years. ย โ€œI was told I would sell the planting materials and gain profits, but this has not happened yet I took a loan of Sh40, 000 from my chama to purchase the seedlings knowing that I would get ready market,โ€ she lamented.

Patience Charo said before the Covid-19 pandemic, they would sell the produce at markets and to small-scale farmers from Kwale, Taita Taveta and Lamu counties who purchased the planting materials.

Hundreds of frustrated cassava women from the Basi Mwangaza Farmers Cooperative Society in Majivuni village in Kilifi County have now decided to ditch the crop.

A promise to construct a processing factory in Tezo at Sh36 million has not materialised either.

Maureen Ongala and Winnie Atieno

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