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  • Kenya: Cashew Nut Farmers Demand Lifting of Export Ban

    Aug 2nd, 2016

    Farmers want an eight-year ban on the export of raw cashew nuts lifted, saying it had impoverished them while enriching local processors.When the ban was imposed in 2009 by then Agriculture minister William Ruto, it was hoped farmers would earn better prices and create jobs through value addition of the nuts.But farmers in Kilifi, Lamu and Kwale say instead, they are being exploited by processors who manipulate prices to their advantage.They said they used to sell a kilogramme for up to Sh80 to exporters but after the ban, the price has plummeted to less than Sh30.Kenya Cashew Nut Growers Association chairman Safari Mumba said the ban was supposed to be reviewed. "The agreement was that there would be reviews of its effectiveness.The National Cereals and Produce Board was supposed to set up collection centres, which was not done, leaving farmers at the mercy of middle men," he said.Cashew nut production has dropped from 14,000 tonnes 10 years ago to 7,000 in 2014.An official of the Nut Processors Association of Kenya Charles Muigai blamed the farmers for not delivering their produce to collection centres, saying local firms had the capacity to handle 20,000 tonnes annually.