Pyrethrum making a comeback in Elgeyo Marakwet

Pyrethrum farmers from Elgeyo Marakwet county sold more than two tonnes of their flowers last week.

This translates to more than Kshs. 500,000 earnings for the farmers in a week with a kilo of the dried flowers retailing at Kshs. 60 a kilo.

Farmers from Moiben-Kuserwo Ward recorded the highest sales of over one tonne with those from Kapsigoria and Cheptulon coming second while farmers from Kipteber in Sengwer Ward were the third highest producers followed by farmers from Chepkorio Ward.

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich, a pyrethrum farmer himself who was among those who recorded the highest kilos, said he was impressed by the week’s earnings.

“I can imagine if every family receives about Kshs 20,000 monthly, household expenses will have been addressed. Pyrethrum can be harvested throughout the year especially now that there’s enough rainfall,” he said.

With the current rains, production is expected to double across the County according to Kentegra field officer Mr Justin Kangogo. There are more than 2000 farmers contracted by Kentegra in pyrethrum growing Wards of Metkei, Chepkorio,Kaptarakwa, Kapyego, Lelan,Moiben-Kuserwo and Embobut-Embolot. Others are Kamariny, Kapsowar, Kabiemit and Sengwer.

The Governor says he identified pyrethrum as a main economic cash crop to stimulate the County’s economic growth. He engaged Kentegra, for a private public partnership who have already contracted farmers across the county and negotiated prices where a kilo of the flowers can fetch as high as Kshs. 430 depending on its pyrethrin content. Farmers are paid through their mobile phones.

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