In Kenya, farmers have crops but nowhere to sell them
Aug 8, 2011
Lack of markets in Kenya may be adding to the food insecurity sweeping across the nation, IRIN reports.
Crops like grains and cabbage continue to thrive in the Rift Valley province, though farmers haven't been able to find proper outlets to sell their crops. This has led to both the famine crisis and the downfall of the farmers who can't turn a profit.
"Sometimes I have been forced to feed cabbages to my cows; it is painful to watch as produce goes to waste," John Kariuki, a farmer in Njoro's Deffo area in the Rift Valley, told IRIN.
"I don't care how much someone will pay for this cabbage, all I want is some income from it," Kariuki added.
According to the news outlet, a large part of the problem has to do with a lack of food preservation facilities. Surplus of produce simply gets thrown away or given to the livestock if no one buys it, because farmers can't keep it somewhere where it will last longer.
"If the government provided such preservation facilities to farmers, they would not have to watch their produce rot," Leah Nakhone, a former director at the Crop Management Research Training Project, told the news source. Nakhone said this could also keep food prices level during the dry and wet seasons.
Humanitarian groups and concerned citizens say that a new policy implementing such facilities may be key to combating droughts in the future. Currently, groups are fundraising to make $5.4 million in four weeks. So far, they have $2 million to show for their efforts.