Lack of access to ready market, human wildlife conflict and presence of unscrupulous middlemen in the value chain is threatening groundnut farming in Taita Taveta County.
A section of groundnut farmers drawn from from Buguta villages in Voi Sub-County are threatening to quit the venture and converting to Maize crop farming which they claim is more lucrative.
Groundnuts are a rich source of protein and edible oils and add nitrogen into the soil and can be grown in poor soils.
The seeds are rich in oil 38-50%, protein 25%, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamins.
Currently a kilo of groundnut fetches 200shillings, a hundred shillings less than it fetches in other groundnut growing regions.
For these farmers in Buguta villages in Voi Sub-County their woes are compounded by the constant invasion of jumbos into their farms.
The farmers are threatening to convert to maize farming saying its is more lucrative.
The farmers are urging the county government to support the venture through mechanization, that would Fastrack shelling of the groundnuts that takes hours by hand.
Pods are individually detached from the vines and therefore dry very quickly stabilizing at 6-8% moisture content resulting in the perfect quality product.
This technique is used for the production of edible or confectionery groundnuts in order to minimize pod damage and contamination.