Macadamia traders want section 43 of AFA Act done away with

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024 05:51 | By
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Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi. PHOTO/Print

Macadamia traders want the government to do away with section 43 of Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) that bans the exportation of raw nuts.

The traders said since Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi (pictured) lifted the ban on selling of unprocessed macadamia nuts in November, the prices have shot up to Sh100 from Sh20 a few months ago.

According to the Nut Traders Association national chairman Johnstone Kihara more than 1,000 tonnes of unprocessed macadamia have been exported to Asian countries over the past one month.

Lack of market saw a good number of farmers hawk the raw nuts in the market to make some money and some were selling for as little as Sh10 per kilo. “Farmers got a bumper harvest for their nuts but there was no market which saw them resort to hawking and this gave a lee way for the brokers to exploit them” said Kihara. He said some European countries which purchase processed nuts could also not provide better markets and this forced the processors to hold nuts in their stores.

“The macadamia sector was at the brink of collapsing because of this ban but we are now relieved after it was lifted because the market channels are open” he remarked. He, however, cautioned farmers against being duped by unscrupulous brokers who are still buying the nuts at lower prices.

Kihara said this law should be done away with and instead the government should put in policies which will ensure the stability of the sector.

John Ndirangu, the association’s secretary general said they will continue to push for the repeal of the law that bans exporting of unprocessed macadamia nuts.

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