Jungle Nut Holdings Limited, a Thika-based firm is offering better prices to avocado and macadamia farmers in Kiambu and Murang’a counties. Jungle Nut Holdings Limited also provides financial support and agricultural training.
Speaking during farmers’ organic and e-buying workshop at a Thika hotel last year, J-Hela accounts manager James Kimotho said middlemen and brokers have been exploiting farmers for a long time. Kimotho said farmers will be paid Sh120 per kilogramme for macademia nuts. Brokers had paid Sh30 per kilogramme.
Kimotho said that Jungle Nut Holdings Limited will collect the nuts from the field to relieve farmers of the burden of transport cost. The firm has introduced a mobile banking platform — J-Hela. Farmers can save money, borrow money and buy products. Kimotho said the firm has developed a business model with the farmers for commercializing of both macadamia and avocados farming.
Jungle Nut Holdings Limited guide farmers on the best farming methods to ensure they get high yields. The firm has also created a marketing plan based on comprehensive study of global markets.
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Farmers now get handsome profits
“J-Hela enables us to directly buy produce from the farmers electronically. They receive payments via their phones using on the same service. This eliminates middlemen. They also make payments on the same platform for farm inputs,” he added
Stephen Waweru, a macademia farmer from Gatanga, Murang’a, said since he entered into partnership with Jungle Nut in 2014, his production has risen from 100kgs to 500kgs annually.
“We used to hear macadamia nuts fetch high prices, but we never made handsome profits because of brokers. We did not have direct markets. But Jungle Nut came to our rescue,” Waweru said.
Many farmers in the region are now switching to macadamia and avocado. Coffee and tea farming is not paying, he said.
Bernard Mwangi, an avocado farmer from Muruka, Kandara, said Jungle Nut introduced the Hass variety and taught them how to grow them organically. Mwangi said farmers’ lives have improved.
Kimotho said the company has expanded to other counties, including Embu.
Many more farmers now are venturing in macadamia farming.
For more information on macadamia farming and avocado farming call us or visit our offices.