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Nairobi modern farmers’ market to connect producers with consumers

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Kenyan farmers will soon have their own market where they sell produce directly to consumers, cutting off the traditional value chain that is replete with middlemen.

The Nairobi Farmers Market, which is under construction in the upmarket Runda Estate, off Kiambu Road, will contain 45 stalls that are exclusively operated by farmers.

This borrows from international practice where most cities have farmers markets that supply produce direct from the farms to the consumers.

While some provide temporary selling space for different farmers on a day-to-day basis, others lease out permanent shops that are operated by individual farmers who take the space on a long-term basis.

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“We are essentially addressing the contradiction where farm-gate prices for cabbages, for example, are less than Sh10 a piece but the consumer pays Sh60. In-between numerous traders, brokers and county levy collectors eat the sweat from the farmer and the savings from the consumer. We are creating a facility that will be a big help for both the farmer and the consumer,” says Mr Munene Mashine, the Project Manager.

He says the other concern the market will address will be traceability of produce and guarantee of good agricultural practices. All the farmers/shop owners will have to submit to regular inspections and certification, similar to what is required of export produce.

Questions have been asked about some of the fresh produce sold in Kenya, with suspicions that some of it is grown with sewage and other polluted water.

An artist’s impressions of the proposed Nairobi Farmers Market

The proposed market, which is expected to open in July, will contain sections for fresh produce, Beef, fish and poultry products, dairy produce and a grains section. The Mwea Rice Centre within the market, for example, promises to provide “Mwea rice at Mwea prices” – a potentially revolutionary approach that will ensure great conveniences for Nairobi shoppers keen on the popular Pishori rice.

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The market developers say they will encourage stall owners to contract and supervise small-scale growers to ensure sufficient supplies within the set quality guidelines while also spreading the benefits of the market to more farmers.

By aggregating produce from the many farmers in the market, they hope to create a secondary outlet for supplying institutional customers such as hotels, restaurants, schools and hospitals. This will ensure and an expansive market potential that can provide an outlet for thousands of farmers.

“We will encourage shop owners to sign up outgrowers across the country, and even to work with County Governments where necessary. This way we can create an efficient road to market for the exceptional pineapple growers of Homa Bay, the sweet potato farmers in Kakamega and the honey producers in Baringo and elsewhere. We are creating a platform that offers guarantees at both the supply and demand side of the equation and hopefully we can provide some stability for everyone,” says Mr Mashine.

Globally, farmers’ markets usually include an eating out section where freshly-prepared dishes are served.

The markets, such as the Borough Market in London, La Boqueria in Barcelona and the Shongweni Farmers Market in South Africa, are top tourist attractions as they provide a good perspective of what the country has to offer.

The Nairobi market will also have a restaurant and since this is Kenya, a nyama choma outlet. Some farmers will be selling produce that has gone through some basic primary processing.

The developers say they want the market to be “fun for the shoppers because even though price advantage is important, it is not the only thing that matters to the modern shopper.”

The market is being developed by a local investor, United Agromarts Limited.

In order to also be in tune with modern shopping trends, the market plans to launch an aggressive home deliveries campaign driven through the Nairobi Farmers Market App.

“It will be a blend between the Uber and the Jumia technologies – you do your shopping online, and we are able to find where you are using the Google Maps facility. We will launch this as soon as the market opens and people see they can trust us, they don’t have to touch and feel the tomato before dropping it into the shopping basket. I think when people have worked so hard to earn their money, they shouldn’t always have to run all over the place to spend it. We will do the running for them,” says Mr Mashine



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Tedd Josiah’s ex-wife tells her side of the story – Nairobi News

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Just days after legendary Kenyan music producer Tedd Josiah revealed why his first marriage collapsed, his estranged wife Cynthia Akoth has now told her side of the story.

In an interview with NTV’s Unscripted With Grace, Josiah recently revealed that he entered his first marriage because of pressure only to realise that he didn’t love his wife.

TROUBLED MARRIAGE

Josiah has never revealed the name of his first wife even in previous interviews, however Nairobi News was able to track her down for an exclusive interview.

Through a close friend who is authorised to speak on her behalf, the media-shy Akoth gave Nairobi News a detailed account of her troubled marriage to Josiah.

During the seven years or so of their relationship, the two were blessed with two children, now aged 16 and 14 years old. Both children will turn a year older in November.

“Josiah has never officially divorced Akoth to this date. They met in the 1990s and became friends. Later, they moved in together in 2001 before wedding in 2002,” our source said.

According to the source, the couple’s wedding was even featured on Samantha Bridal Show and they lived together until 2008 when Josiah relocated to the UK.

WHITE GIRLFRIEND

“I guess that’s when their marriage troubles began,” said the source, who claims that while in ‘exile’ Josiah completely lost touch with his wife and children whom he left behind at his family home in Runda.

“With Josiah in London, Abaja (Akoth) tried to save her marriage but her efforts didn’t bear fruits and she was forced to start life afresh with their two kids. She raised the children all alone and even moved them from private to public schools, because she couldn’t afford it,” the source went on.

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Our source claims that Josiah returned home in 2011 with his new white girlfriend.

“When he returned home he would on some occasions pick his children from Abaja and stay with them and his girlfriend even for a week,” the source said.

Josiah would later relocate to Nigeria after landing a job in the West African country.

CO-PARENTING

Upon his return to Kenya, he had a new girlfriend by the name Damilo Yusuf, a Nigerian with whom they were blessed with a daughter. But after a while they broke up and Damilo returned to Nigeria with the child.

“Abaja was shocked to hear Tedd lie on TV that he only has three children. He has a daughter in Nigeria as well. When they were dating, the Nigerian lady used to accompany him to Abaja’s place to pick his kids,” the source claims.

According to the source, Akoth has been struggling to co-parent with Josiah, in spite of the producer-turned-fashion designer’s efforts to maintain a close bond with their children.

Josiah is also said to have previously been engaged to a certain Keziah Wambugu back in September 2014 and at one point they were reportedly planning to wed.

It was after they broke up that Josiah met Regina Katar whom he married and had a child with. Regina died three years ago living behind a three-month-old daughter.

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State to roll out nationwide livestock digital tagging for traceability

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The Ministry of Agriculture will roll out a nationwide digital tagging of livestock for easy traceability and enhance digital sale abroad.

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Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said that this will enable farmers to easily access markets for their livestock even abroad where buyers can follow up on the animals even when far away.

Speaking at Kisargei in Laikipia North during a vaccination drive against foot and Mouth Disease, PPR and deworming of livestock Munya said that the revival of the railway line from Nanyuki to Nairobi will be an added advantage to herders who will now have to transport their animals by rail.

He noted that the plans for digital tagging are at an advanced stage where the regulations have already been subjected to public participation and only await approval by the national assembly.

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The exercise he said will be of many benefits including preventing cattle theft as the digital tags will be identifying individual animals’ history and whereabouts.

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At the same time the CS said that they are working with the county governments in training slaughterhouse workers the best ways of skinning to avoid damaging hides and skins.

This will also go hand in hand procuring and issuing the best machines for abattoirs at the county level to make sure that the skin and hides industry flourishes.

Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi welcomed the move and called on herders to make good use of the refurbished one meter railway line that is expected to start operations in a month’s time to maximize sales.

Muriithi said that the county will start opening all the stock routes that were being used to bring the animals from all corners of Laikipia to The Nanyuki railway station.

The routes he noted will have drinking points and those driving the animals will have somewhere to rest.

According to Livestock Production Director in the Ministry of Agriculture Julius Kiptarus, Laikipia county has over 260,000 cows both beef and daily, over 700,000 sheep and goats and 10,000 camels which makes a good bet for business.

Kiptarus said the vaccination exercise is being carried out in all the 14 Asal Counties under the Resilience program noting that the current situation where there is enough pasture has enabled the animals to flourish calling on herders to take the advantage and sell their animals where they fit.

He assured the herders that local markets will soon be opened after the regulations set by the ministry of health on stopping the spreading of COVI 19 are met.

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TIFA study reports 63pc prevalence of police using force during curfew » Capital News

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 5 – A newly released study by regional research firm Trends and Insights For Africa (TIFA) has reported 63 per cent prevalence in use of force by police officers enforcing the nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew.

The research funded by the Canadian High Commission in Kenya published on Sunday came against a backdrop of calls for cessation of rights violations by police officers with human human rights activists reporting fifteen deaths linked to police brutality since the onset of the nationwide curfew.

Over thirty people have been injured according to human rights advocacy groups.

The countrywide dusk-to-dawn curfew which begun on March 28 was marred with chaos especially in the initial weeks as widely circulated video clips showed officers unleashing beatings and teargas, injuring dozens.

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The incidences were condemned by leaders and human rights activists.

In early April, President Uhuru Kenyatta apologized to Kenyans for the violence witnessed during curfew enforcement.

Twenty-four per cent of respondents interviewed between June 2 and 15 said they knew someone who had been arrested for curfew violation.

The poll reported a 49 per cent compliance on curfew with 40 per cent of the respondents reporting partial compliance.

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