Pyrethrum farmers in the country are set for a bounce back following an investment by Biotechnology firm Kentegra in the sector.
The firm has established a 45 acre pyrethrum seedbed in Nakuru County which it plans to distribute certified seeds to farmers in high potential areas in Nakuru, Nyandarua and West Pokot Counties free of charge.
Over the years pyrethrum farmers in the country have had to contend with poor returns as many of them opted to uproot the crop when the sector took a dive.
In a bid to revive the sector parliament enacted a bill that liberalized the pyrethrum sector which was previously solely controlled by the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya which is now the Pyrethrum and Other Industrial Crops Directorate.
As a way of creating a market for pyrethrum farmers, the State Department of Agriculture has partnered with Biotechnology firm Kentegra that will see pyrethrum farmers in the country receive free certified seedlings as well as sell their produce directly to the same company.
The company has planted 45 acres of pyrethrum seedlings, targeting to contract 20,000 farmers by the end of next year as it seeks to increase production capacity to 10,000 acres.
Under the arrangement, farmers will be given a 3 year contract to supply pyrethrum to the firm and will receive their payment on delivery.
Francis Githinji, a pyrethrum farmer in Nakuru says he uprooted part of the crop in his 10 acres piece of land after incurring heavy losses but he is optimistic the new project will increase his earnings going forward.
The Nakuru County government is also keen on more partnerships to revive pyrethrum farming in the county.