Fresh produce farmers want levies waived

Written By: Fiona Churu
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The campaign targets to establish kitchen gardens in at least a million homesteads in a bid to boost healthy nutrition across the country.

Fresh produce farmers are calling on the government to consider waiving some levies for some time to keep them afloat at a time when lockdowns in key European markets has slashed exports. 

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Led by Rubi Ranch proprietor Edward Mureu, the farmers say cargo flight charges have tripped in the last one month due to a reduction in frequencies by airlines.

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Countries in recent weeks have been implementing partial or total lockdowns in efforts to contain the spread of Coronavirus pandemic and this has hurt tourism and aviation sectors, which players forced to drastically scale down or temporarily suspend operations.

Among those directly affected by the lockdowns are vegetable and fruit farmers in Kenya who mainly rely on Europe as their main market.

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He says fresh produce farmers are facing challenges shipping out vegetables and fruits since airlines have reduced cargo flights resulting in cargo flight charges tripling.

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Mureu is therefore calling on the national as well as county governments to consider waiving some levies to keep fresh produce farmers afloat.

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The state of affairs has seen farms reduce production capacities that has seen some workers sent home.

They say there is still demand for Kenyan produce in among other markets, the UK, Sweden and Russia.

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