Farmers in Nairobi have launched their own venture in an attempt to outsmart Nairobi businessmen who act as middlemen in the entire chain of production.
The middlemen are said to make millions without breaking much sweat – something that farmers who soil their hands are keen to end.
The farmers have launched The Nairobi Farmers Market, located along Kiambu Road, which will be exclusively operated by farmers hence excluding middlemen.
Prof Dominic Mwenja, who is a farmer and CEO of Carlifornia Mirama University Kenya, noted that the launch is part of improving the country’s food yields.
Neatly arranged shelves at The Nairobi Farmers Market.
Jeff Mundia, who is the General Manager of the Market, noted that the initiative was meant to bring businessmen closer to the consumers.
“Within the next two to five years, every Kenyan should be able to get their fruits and vegetables delivered regardless of where they live because the technology and the science is there to allow us to do that.
“That is why vertical farming for us is extremely important. What Nairobi Farmers has done, is to make it possible for the produce to come directly from the farms into the market itself,” one of the farmers told Citizen TV.
He further noted that by kicking out middlemen, the venture ensured that the prices stay competitive, and the supply remains even throughout the year.
Another trader who has secured a stall at the market noted that his company manages a farm from where he gets his produce.
“All the produce you buy from us come directly from farmers. That way, you get a good price and also you get chase-ability.
“Anything you buy from us, we can take you back to the farm and show you all the good farming practices that were used. Our promise is not only value, but a promise of quality as well,” he explained.
Customers were also elated with the market highlighting the fair pricing points and how neat the display shelves have been arranged.
“The prices are very friendly and their produce are quite fresh, and good,” gushed one of the customers.
In the traditional marketing protocol, middlemen, who are in most cases referred to as brokers, raked in millions year in year out, making more than the farmers themselves.
“I had several acres of cabbages which the middlemen used to buy at Ksh5 per head. However, one day I got to travel to Wakulima market in Nairobi and found out that they resold them at Ksh80 per head. That’s when I abandoned that particular venture,” he explained.
Gikomba market faces a similar challenge. A group of traders discovered the billions ripe for the taking at the famous market.
The brokers are unregistered and unregulated middlemen plying their trade in unregulated and informal markets.
They are neither traders nor customers, they add no value to the products, all they do is take the middle-ground and act as a link to the end user thereby making a sizable chunk of money in the process.
The new Ksh 500 million Gikomba market