Since the country reported the first case of the disease on March 13, farmers have been reeling from a barrage of issues, chief among them being lack of reliable transport.
A helpline number, Tel 0722 408210, could come as fresh relief to Kenyan farmers, who have been having serious challenges delivering their fresh produce to markets or for export, following the onset of the coronavirus epidemic.
The helpline, which has been set up by the Fresh Produce Consortium Kenya (FCPK), is aimed at guaranteeing food collections and sales.
The curfew and travel restrictions have led to wastage and losses, because fruits and vegetables could not get to the market.
However, this is no longer the case. In a proposal approved by the Ministry of Trade, owners of national food trucks were registered and given stickers for their vehicles – a Fresh Produce Vehicle Pass with the government coat of arms – allowing them to travel at night.
FPCK CEO’s Word
“The driver and registration details of each of these vehicles is lodged with the security services and circulated so that they are cleared to move,” says Mr Okisegere Ojepat, the CEO of the consortium.
These vehicles are available to move food at night both for export and local markets.
“It is our goal that no Kenyan farmer shall be left with rotting fruit or vegetables because they lack transport to get their foods to markets,” he said.
“Any farmer can now call our helpline, and get their crops picked up and paid for,” he adds.
To boost sales and enable city residents to get their fresh produce without having to visit the markets, the consortium has also launched a scheme where any of the trucks can deliver and sell any fresh produce directly to any residential estate if called by the estate managers, the CEO says.