Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria on Tuesday, April 11, exposed how 40 companies were making millions at the expense of macadamia nut farmers.
In a statement, the CS revealed that the companies were purchasing the nuts from farmers for as low as Ksh20 per kilo before packaging and selling them at high prices.
He noted that the majority of the companies were reselling the kilo at Ksh800 - making a profit of 3,900 per cent in the process.
In his argument, he noted that he wanted the farmers to raise their income from Ksh20 to Ksh250 per kilo.
"40 Macadamia processors are buying Macadamia at Ksh20 per Kilo and selling at Ksh800 in International markets. We don't want Ksh800. We will be okay with Ksh250 per Kilo for our toiling farmers," read the statement in part.
The CS made the revelation following his decision to suspend the ban on the exportation of the nuts overseas in a move aimed at stabilising the markets.
Kuria temporarily suspended the exportation of the nuts to the international market for one year on Monday, April 10.
“We are lifting the ban on the exportation of raw macadamia nuts for one year to bring into the country other buyers from all over the world. This will open the markets for competitiveness allowing farmers to sell to the highest buyers,” he stated at the time.
Following the revelations, a section of Kenyans was shocked at the extent of the suffering endured by farmers who were spending a lot of money on planting and harvesting the crop.
"I was in Mukurweini on Sunday and I didn't know they grow macadamia. I wanted to know much about it but I was surprised to hear that they sell a kilo at Ksh20.
"After all that hard work and then the middlemen known as brokers rob them and sell them for ksh800. I feel for them," Bulilo Silas commented.
However, others also sided with the companies as they acknowledged that some of them did value addition to the nuts before exportations.
The exportation of raw nuts was banned by the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) Act of 2013.