CS Kuria proposes over 1000pc hike in macadamia prices
Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has proposed an 1150 percent increment of macadamia prices in Kenya from Ksh20 per kilogram to Ksh250.
In a statement, Kuria accused over 40 macadamia companies of exploiting Kenyan farmers by buying a kilo of macadamia for Ksh20 and selling it for Ksh800 at the international market.
"40 Macadamia processors are buying Macadamia at 20 Shillings per Kilo and selling at Ksh800 in International markets. We don't want Ksh800. We will be ok with Ksh250 per Kilo for our toiling farmers," Kuria stated.
The proposal comes shortly after the CS lifted the ban on the exportation of raw macadamia for one year.
Announcing the move, Kuria said that the move was aimed at opening the international market and improving the prices.
“We are lifting the ban on the exportation of raw macadamia nuts for one year to bring into the country other buyers from all over the world. This will open the markets for competitiveness allowing farmers to sell to the highest buyers,” Kuria said.
“If you pay someone Sh20 how will they take their child to school? How will they buy food?” he posed.
Ban on macadamia exportation
Through Section 43 of the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) Act, the government banned the export of raw cashew nuts, pyrethrum, bixa, macadamia or "any other agricultural product as may be prescribed, except with the written authority of the Cabinet Secretary."
Last week, Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi promised to unlock the macadamia market for farmers within a week, urging them not to sell the nuts at the prevailing prices.
"Don’t sell your Macadamia at Ksh20 to brokers and allow us to give the way forward after 10 days. I don’t want the farmer’s products to go to waste due to low cost, thus through the AFA board, I’ll ensure we get the right terms,” said Linturi.
Currently, at least 10 counties grow macadamia including Muranga, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Embu, Meru, Bungoma, Kakamega, Kitale, Machakos and Taita Taveta.
Currently, there are over 6,000 macadamia farmers in the country.