Farmers from Kiambu County will showcase their produce at the inaugural harvest festival this weekend at the Nairobi farmers market.
More than 60 agribusinesses picked from women and youth are working with the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC) funded by the European Union and the Danish development agency (Danida).
“As farmers grapple with exploitative farm gate prices while consumers smart from the high cost of fresh products, this initiative seeks to demonstrate a revolutionary direct farm to fork linkage which could change how the business is conducted, putting more money in grower’s pockets and making savings for buyers”, said Nairobi Farmers Market general manager Jeff Mundia.
KCIC CEO Dr Edward Mungai said the AgriBiz programme links farmers to markets and the Nairobi Farmers Market is a potential buyer of most of the produce from project beneficiaries.
Kiambu Governor James Nyoro, who will open the event, said the festival is opening direct markets for farmers, the missing link in repositioning agriculture to propel and sustain Kenya’s economic transformation. The Danish Ambassador to Kenya and the EU Head of the delegation will attend in support of their respective farmer empowerment programmes.
Located on Kiambu Road, the Nairobi Farmers Market specialises in stocking fresh farm produce and availing the same to consumers at pocket-friendly prices.
It bypasses middlemen, often blamed for exploiting farmers by off taking produce at throw-away farm gate prices, taking advantage of the lack of a guaranteed market link.
The event is the first in a quarterly series of extravaganzas to create awareness of the benefits of direct market linkages. “The Harvest Festival seeks to support farmers and businesses in the agriculture sector value chain by demonstrating how a functioning value chain can transform agricultural productivity,” Dr Mungai added.
He emphasized that if such markets were established countrywide, it would streamline sourcing, availability and pricing of farm produce.
This would give the farmer guaranteed incomes, eradicate post-harvest losses, improve food security and unlock massive employment opportunities.
AgriBiz Programme is funded by the (EU) and Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) enable the involvement of youth and women in agricultural and livestock value chains. It aims at supporting 2,400 youth and women in agriculture and create 17,000 jobs in five years. More about the programme can be accessed via agribiz.kenyacic.org.
The Nairobi Farmers Market is a wholesale and retail fresh produce market along Kiambu Road, Nairobi. The Market provides a direct outlet for farmers, bypassing middlemen. The Market is open every day and offers a wide variety of products including local and imported fruits and vegetables, a variety of meats, fish, poultry and dairy products.