Murang’a County Makes Bill To Protect Avocado Farmers

Hass avocado farmers contracted by Sasini: Sasini is a major player in Avocado farming in Kenya

Hass avocado farming has become an important economic activity in Kenya with the country being ranked as the third largest exporter of the fruit in the world and the first in Africa.

Murang’a County has been one of richest avocado farming areas in the country and now becomes the first to formulate a bill that will lock out unscrupulous brokers and cartels and protect the farmers of the green gold.  

Through the proposed law, The County Avocado Production and Marketing Bill 2020, the county government of Murang’a will create a department that will regulate the avocado farming sector through registration and licensing of fruit buyers and other key players in the value chain.

How farmers will benefit

The proposed law seeks to give the county government the powers to impose a total ban on avocado harvesting by defining harvesting dates. This will protect immature fruits from being harvested. Immature fruits have been hurting the reputation of Kenyan avocado in the international market and affecting the price of the produce.

According to the draft, all avocado buyers in the county will be forced to pay farmers according to the grade they produce rather than an average price per fruit as they have been doing.

The bill also proposes that all avocado farming contracts designed for the farmers must be vetted by the county government. This will ensure that the farmers’ rights are not violated by the buying companies.

All nursery operators will be required to buy seedlings from producers that have been approved by the county government. With this, the farmers will be sure that they are getting quality seedlings.

The taskforce created to enforce this law will have the power to arrest and prosecute anyone who flaunts these regulations. If found on the wrong, one will face a fine of Sh2 million or a jail term not exceeding two years.

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