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By Musdalafa Lyaga, winner of the “Video Unpublished” category in the Thomson Reuters Foundation and Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation Food Sustainability Media Award 2017.
Mango farmers in Kenya are experiencing a bumper harvest but with the gains have come a new challenge – ensuring the fruit is not wasted before reaching consumers.
Farmers are concerned that a large proportion of the fruit ends up rotting on the farms while they struggle to get fair deals from brokers to get the mangoes to market. This is not only resulting in wasted resources, such as land, energy, and agro-inputs, but also losing farmers money and forcing many into debt.
But this wastage can be prevented when farmers join forces to collectively sell their produce, giving them greater bargaining power.
Farmer groups can help all members gather their mangoes in one location, hire a truck to transport the harvest to market, and sell the fruit at a higher bulk price. Farmer groups can also organise training for members on orchard management and value adding techniques such as turning the fruit into juice.
These groups have proved that when farmers cooperate with each other they not only increase their incomes but also enhance food security by producing safe and quality products.