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The Kiambu Farmers Harvest Festival, The Success and Lessons Learnt

  • By Brenda Mulunga
  • August 5, 2021
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  • 959 Views

The highly successful Kiambu Farmers’ Harvest Festival was held in Kiambu County  from 31st July to 1st August 2021. The festival which was hosted at the Nairobi Farmers’ Market, which is the first of its kind in the country, gave consumers the opportunity to shop fresh produce directly  from the farms without the hassle of having to go through middle men. This ensures that the produce is of a high quality and fresh. The market hosts farmers who have been vetted. They have to follow the proper guidelines in terms of production, the harvesting process, storage of the produce and even the transportation. The market concept is one that ensures that the consumer is not over charged for the fresh produce. A few lessons that can be picked from the event include;

People want fresh produce

“The number of attendees at the event was good enough to realize that people are more conscious of what they put on their table. The attendees were from various backgrounds and nationalities. Fresh produce is always sought out. Society is becoming more health conscious and therefore are looking for sources  that can offer such fresh produce from the farm produce.”

There is great financial potential in farming

“In the past, farming was only regarded as an activity for the older generation who were in retirement or just doing it as a hobby. In the recent past more and more younger individuals are venturing  into farming as a source of livelihood. Looking at the large number of clients from the  KCIC Agribiz programme who have benefited financially from farm produce, it is testament to the fact that farming brings in resources and finances to anyone who gets involved in it.”

Sustainable food is no longer just a fad

“The notion of sustainable food was seen as something only the westernized countries were concerned with. Not anymore, sustainable food is swiftly catching up with the ‘common mwananchi’ who can see the benefits of eating healthy. With the lifestyle diseases that have been rampaging the country, more people are opting for food that has been farmed sustainably, packaged sustainably and even sold in sustainable environments.”

 People are willing to spend more for better quality produce

“More people are well aware of the type of food they want to consume. Money is no longer a hindrance to getting nutritious and healthy food, we find more people buying better produce as opposed to trying to save some shillings and getting lower quality produce. Health is expensive, therefore, it is better to spend more but get to live a longer and healthier life.”

There is market for farming produce

“In the changing times, more produce is in demand in the international markets. Take for instance one of KCIC clients, Exotic EPZ, which engages in the processing and export of macadamia nuts and also empowers rural smallholder farmers and agents in the macadamia nuts value chains thus creating decent sustainable jobs. The company has gotten demand for their products beyond just Kenya. International markets are opening up to African farm produce that is grown organically, which in turn brings major revenue to the country.”