What you need to know:
- The new prices effective from July 1 will be pegged on pyrethrin content of dry flowers.
- The highest price of dry flowers with pyrethrin content of three percent will fetch Sh435 up from Sh375 per kilogram.
- Dry flowers with 1.4 percent of the pyrethrin content will fetch Sh203 up from Sh175 per kilogram.
The ailing pyrethrum sub sector has announced new prices for dry flowers delivered at Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya (PPCK) factory in Nakuru town.
The good news comes after the government disbursed ShSh100 million to PPCK to buy flowers and upgrade their seed nurseries in Kiambu, Kisii and Nakuru.
The upward adjustment of prices during this Covid-19 pandemic period means farmers have a rare opportunity to make good money. The sector has been reeling in deep financial crisis.
The new prices come at a time when farmers are facing an acute shortage of planting materials. PPCK faced a challenge of supplying farmers with clean planting materials due to increased demand.
To meet the increasing demand of about 2,000 farmers, PPCK has embarked on increasing supply of planting materials ahead of the anticipated rise in demand due to new prices.
The new prices effective from July 1 will be pegged on pyrethrin content of dry flowers. The highest price of dry flowers with pyrethrin content of three percent will fetch Sh435 up from Sh375 per kilogram.
Dry flowers with 1.4 percent of the pyrethrin content will fetch Sh203 up from Sh175 per kilogram.
Many farmers in West Pokot County whose flowers have pyrethrin content of two percent will now be paid Sh290 per kilogram. According PPCK acting Managing Director Joseph Waweru, the lowest price will be Sh116 per kilogram.
This is good news to farmers in the 18 pyrethrum growing counties who have been selling dry flowers to PPCK competitors at Sh200 regardless of the pyrethrin content.
“This new prices are meant to cushion farmers from exploitation by some processors because majority of farmers grow flowers whose pyrethrin content is above 1.4 percent,” said Mr Waweru.
He further announced that PPCK will maintain its advance payment to farmers at the points of collection and that there are plan to increase the payment from Sh100 to Sh150 per kilogram for counties that produce flowers with more that 1.4 percent pyrethrin content.
He said the balance would be paid after the pryethrin content is analysed at the Nakuru factory.
“We shall pay the balance after the analysis unlike our competitors who disregard the analysis, this is the worst exploitation any pyrethrum farmer can endure,” said Mr Waweru.
PPCK has established that Kiambu, Bomet, Nyamira and Kisii counties out of the 18 are unable to produce dry flowers with more than 1.4 percent pyrethrin content.
Many of the contracted farmers at PPCK had abandoned growing the crop due to delays in payment, lack of planting materials and stagnated prices. Mr Waweru announced that in March-May 2021, PPCK will increase its planting materials to meet the rising demand.
“We are planning to double our planting materials in our nurseries in Molo, Limuru, Njoro, and seed fields in Tetu in Subukia in Nakuru County and Keroka in Kisii County as we anticipate a huge demand for planting materials next year,” said Mr Waweru.
He announced that PPCK is currently pursuing forest land which they lost to Kenya Forest Service in Bahati in Nakuru to increase their acreage on seed materials.
On the delayed payment, Mr Waweru said that the farmers have been paid up to the end of April and plans were underway to clear their backlog by the end of July.
“By end of July we shall pay all pyrethrum materials we have analysed from April to June,” said Mr Waweru.