Potato farmers in Mau-Narok, Njoro Sub County have raised concerns over what their term is harsh environment citing the new packaging regulations that have led to huge loss in their business.
The farmers drawn from Bondeni, Mwisho wa Lami and Likia areas are faulting the government for not looking into their interests as potato farmers.
Led by Fidelis Njeri, the farmers said the government has neglected them with seeds costing them huge money. In addition, they said lack of land has forced them to hire an acre piece at Sh1,000 which is costly compared to the other expenses they have to go through.
“We do farming but it is very costly and the government seems like has forgotten us,” said Njeri.
Esther Nyambura from Bondeni village who is also potato farmer says the government should ensure the control of land rates and the cost of hiring land for farming.
“We hire land for farming in the neighbouring Maasai land but the cost of hiring the land is very high and that is why the farming cannot help us so much. Our children depend on this but now when the land is costly we end up not achieving great. The county should step in,” Nyambura said.
The potato farmers are also calling on the government to ensure there is proper regulation on the packaging of potatoes. They say if this is not checked properly, there are cartels who will end up making them suffer.
“If the government will not check on packaging of potatoes then the farmer will suffer,” said Njeri who pointed out that government's recommended 50kg packaging bags are smaller compared to what they are using to package hence it will be a big blow to them.
Area MCA Jackson Githua also weighed into the potato packaging issue saying the law on packaging should be re-looked at so that it does not negatively affect farmers.
“The law should not be used to paralyze the farmers’ activities. My appeal to the government let’s have officers in the field to check on this” said Githua.