Potato Farmers in Mau-Narok in Njoro Sub County have raised concerns over what their term is harsh environment citing the new packaging regulations that has led to huge loss in their business.
The Farmers drawn from Bondeni,Mwisho wa Lami and Likia areas of Njoro sub county are faulting the government for not looking into their interests as potato farmers.
Led by Ms Fidelis Njeri,the farmers said the government has neglected them with seeds costing them huge money.In addition she adds that lack of land has forced them to hire land for Ksh 1000 per acre which she says is costly compared to the other expenses they have to go through.
According to the farmers, they have to struggle with huge costs of transport from the farm in order to reach the market patting with huge sums of money through cartels including the county askaris.
To them, whatever the reap out of their potatoes farming is nothing but loss yet they have to continue with the business in order to cater for their children’s needs.
“We do farming but it is very costly and the government seems like has forgotten us” said Ms Njeri.
Ms Esther Nyambura from Bondeni village who is also potato farmer says the government should ensure the control of land rates and the cost of hiring land for farming.According to Ms Nyambura if this is not addressed then their farming will only remain to benefit a few cartels in the industry who are feasting on farmers.
“We hire land for farming in the neighboring Maasai land but the cost of hiring the land is very high and that is why the farming cannot help us so much. Our children depend on this but now when the land is costly we end up not achieving great. The county should step in” said Ms Nyambura.
The potato farmers also calling on the government to ensure there is proper regulation on the packaging of potatoes.They say if this is not checked properly then there are cartels who will end up making them to suffer.
The farmers raising concerns on the law on the 50Kgs packaging bags.
“If the government will not check on packaging of potatoes then the farmer will suffer a big blow” said Ms Njeri.
Similar sentiments echoed by George Mwangi,Peter Kuria and Rebecah Wanjitu-potato farmers at Mwisho wa Lami.
According to them, the government recommended 50Kgs packaging bag is smaller compared to what they are using to package now hence it will be a big blow to them as farmers as they will incur more expenses.
“The 50Kgs packaging bags recommended by the government will be a big blow to the farmers” they said.
Area MCA Jackson Githua also weighing into the potato packaging issue.According to the MCA, the law on packaging should be re-looked at so that it does not negatively affect the farmers.
The MCA also appealing to the government to ensure there are field extension officer to monitor the same.
“The law should not be used to paralyze the farmers’ activities. My appeal to the government let’s have officers in the field to check on this” said the MCA.
PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:Potato Famers at Mwisho wa lami packaging point in Njoro Sub county.