Mango farmers in Embu County of Kenya have been urged to target the export market. This call was made by Agricultural Inputs Suppliers, Amiran, adding farmers should embrace quality mango farming in order to fit into the international market.
Speaking during an agricultural field day with Amiran, Grace Njambi [Agronomist], urged farmers to put in more effort in improving the quality of their produce in the wake of the mango international market.
Mango farmers vs Export market vs Challenges
Grace added farmers in the county have been dealing with mango diseases and pests, which have subjected them to huge losses.
She said mealybugs are among the main pests disturbing farmers in the region, adding that the main aim of Amiran is to give solutions to farmers noting that there has been an increase in mango diseases and pests.
“Our aim is to give solutions to farmers and we have noted an increase in mango pests and diseases and that’s why we are here today to advise farmers on the best products to use in their farming,” said Njambi.
The agronomist said that boosters are the best supplements for mango farming for they enhance the colour of mangoes, which in turn attract more customers in the market.
Embu East Agricultural officer, Stephen Njagi, said that his department will link mango farmers with researchers to advise them and introduce them to the best mango farming practices required in the international markets so as to ensure the value chain in fruits farming in the county.
“We will engage trained officers to educate farmers on best farming practices who will also train farmers on different researched packages through organized field days,” he said.
Njagi cautioned mango farmers against getting the wrong varieties of mango seedlings from nurseries that lack enough knowledge, noting that he has witnessed cases where farmers have received different varieties from the ones they had ordered.
He told farmers to exercise caution while buying or ordering seedlings and only purchase from nursery owners listed by the horticulture directorate.
The agricultural field day came at a time when mango farmers had threatened to uproot their mango trees saying that they have not benefited from mango farming due to the lack of a credible and sustainable market.
James Fundi, a mango farmer at Karurumo, urged the government to establish a good local and international market for mangoes saying that Embu is one of the richest mango areas in Kenya and the government should put up a mango fruit processing company in the region.