Golden Solutions field officer Erick Wachira says the company is moving round the country collecting bird’s-eye chillies for its processing plant in Nairobi.
“We are buying chillies from farmers to meet the demand for our processed consumer products. The supply is low, forcing us to go directly to the farmers in the field to fetch the chilli. At the moment, we pay Sh50 for one kilogramme,” he says.
Although the price can be revised upwards depending on the supply, Sh50 is the lowest price they are offering.
Wachira says the company decided to go directly to the field as a way of reducing brokers who offer lower prices but make a ‘kill’ out of the produce because the farmer may not be knowing of a definite market. This leads to post harvest losses as a result of rotting or selling at low price to salvage production costs.
For that reason, the farmer selling directly to the company earns more with the elimination of brokers from the supply chain. Similarly, farmers would save on transportation and other costs incurred as they look for market.
In making the venture sustainable, the company, however, requires a farmer to have at least 500 kg of chillies.
Given that most small-holder farmers may not raise this quantity after a single harvest, they can pool the chillies and invite the company to collect it.
Chilli is a major flavouring ingredient in foods for both rural and urban residents. Being a vegetable, it can be cut into small pieces while fresh or dried and ground into powder before addition into foods.
It can also be processed into a paste to serve the same purpose of making food hot.
Wachira can be reached on +254710834650.