Potato farmers from Chepyuk Mt. Elgon have on Tuesday held a peaceful protest against low market prices of the commodity at Kipsigon.
The farmers led by Tendet Arap Siyoi expressed their discontent in the irregular fluctuation of prices through brokers who reap where they didn’t sow.
“As farmers we’ve been made helplessly reliant on brokers who switch prices as they please from morning to evening, week after week; in a span of 1 week the price has dwindled from 4500 to 2400 or even lesser,” deplored Siyoi.
The farmers have also cited sabotage of labourers who are overworked and underpaid regardless of the ever soaring economical conditions currently experienced in the country.
“Due to high cost of farm inputs and labour, farmers incur substantial losses since brokers dragoon them into cheap sale at the farm while they quote high prices to buyers at Chwele,” noted Richard Sangula, peace ambassador.
Shortly after the peaceful demonstrations were halted, Masudi Arap Kisis a farmer from Emia disclosed that they’ve deliberated and decided that all standardized potato sacks should be sold between Ksh.2400 and Ksh. 4000 and the transaction strictly between the farmer and the buyer.
The area MCA Franklin Simotwo consummately observed that the farmers’ adversities have been long over due and he’s spoken with governor on finding a lasting solution.
“We need to have a warehouse and coolers where potatoes can be stored awaiting favourable prices, also our cooperatives should be strengthened to empower our farmers have bargaining power and get value from their hard work,” reiterated Simotwo.