Farmers Market opens in Nairobi

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Jeff Mundia, General Manager, Nairobi Farmers Market
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Nairobi, Thursday January 28, 2021: Consumers in Nairobi and its environs can now get their fresh produce at farmgate prices following the opening of the Nairobi Farmers Market, located along Kiambu Road.
Operated mainly by farmers, the market has created a link between farms and consumers, by-passing brokers who currently control the trade in many parts of the country.
Besides fresh produce, the market offers many other related products. There is a general store that offers an assortment of regular household goods on both retail and wholesale basis, which is expected to be popular with bargain hunters who currently travel to Eastleigh for wholesale shopping; a grains superstore specialising in pure Mwea pishori rice and many other cereals; prime cuts butcheries, which include a specialised pork shop; a fish centre; a dairy and poultry centre; a pharmacy, wines and spirits shop and many other facilities. A restaurant for both sit-in and takeaway is available where meals as well as snacks are on offer.
“We have been open since mid-December on a trial run, and already the response from customers is just amazing. We are very encouraged,” says Mr Jeff Mundia, General Manager. “Shoppers and other visitors have expressed satisfaction with the range and quality of products offered here, the freshness and the fair prices.
“We have witnessed very many repeat buyers. Some of them even call asking for what they need, not believing they can just come and find the produce. We started without too much publicity so that the farmers can first get used to restocking requirements and so on. Now they are good at it, and very soon all the shops will be open,” he said.
He said all the stalls were booked even before construction was completed.
The market is a first of its kind in Kenya, being a direct link unlike traditional models where farm produce passes through many stages before getting to the consumer, leading not only to exploitation of farmers by brokers but mishandling of produce which reaches the consumer in a poor state.
All the farmers in the market have been vetted to ensure they follow good agricultural practices in the production, harvesting, storage and transportation of their produce. Also verified is the source of water to ensure that only good, clean water is used for irrigation.
They are expected to comply with a common quality charter to ensure the safety of all the food sold in the market.
“Part of the objectives of this market is to avail safely handled food and therefore play our part in creating a healthy nation,” said Mr Mundia.
Among the facilities is a pop up market where different people,including non-farmers, can rent tables on a short-term basis to sell different products, mainly artisanal items made at home. A wide range of goodsare allowed here, including food items, crafts, and many others. ‘This is our way of giving an opportunity to the talented Kenyans who lack an outlet for the wonderful things they produce. Now they can come and showcase them here and share their passion with others.”
Also planned is a Consumer Experience Centre where manufacturers of household goods can showcase their products, with the opportunity to carry out demo cooking and tasting sessions. This is expected to be popular with manufacturers of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) seeking to introduce or popularise their products.
“In view of the changing trends in shopping, we have developed an App that will allow customers from all over the city to shop online and enjoy convenient home deliveries. This way, even though the market is very pleasant to visit, we do not expect everyone needing to buy from us to come all the way,” says Mr Mundia.
The Nairobi Farmers Market comes at a time of growing concern about the safety of food sold in Kenyan markets. Whereas a bevy of institutions have published the rules and regulations expected of every product destined for export, there is little supervision for produce meant for local consumption. The post-harvest handling protocol are not enforced, and nohygiene standards are prescribed for what sells in Marigiti in Nairobi or Kongowea in Mombasa, for example.

For further information:
Catherine Riungu 0722848970 / riungucm@gmail.com

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