The Kiambu government has signed an agreement with an exporter who will be buying avocados from farmers.

The agreement with Mofarm Fresh Fruits Exporters was signed at the county headquarters on Thursday.

Governor James Nyoro said many households in Kiambu have been planting avocados on small scale for food and as a source of income.

“In most cases, middlemen exploit farmers and consumers. Avocado is one of the major export crops within the horticultural sector that is fetching good income. If farmers turn to fruit farming, they will increase their income.”

The county chief said farmers have come together to form the Kiambu County Avocado Farmers Cooperative Society.

“The county will also offer shared services in the promotion, production, processing and marketing of avocados. Farmers within the cooperative community will enjoy other value-added services like training and access to finance,” Nyoro said.

Cooperative chairman Stephen Mbuthia said he has 250 active members.

MoFarm CEO Elijah Njoroge said having avocado farmers in cooperative societies is the only way they can sell their fruits in bulk to earn more.

“In the global market they do not engage with individual farmers but with a cooperative. The international market appreciates as they will be a brand,” he said.

Njoroge said one kilo of avocado is sold at Sh100. He said they would not eliminate brokers but instead employ them and be paying them Sh5 per one kilo of avocado rather than exploit farmers.

Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry-Kiambu branch chairman Richard Kagiri said the Middle East, Egypt and China are the highest consumers of Kenyan avocados.

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Source: the-star.co.ke