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Desperate Rice Farmers Turn to Middlemen
The Nation (Nairobi), January 10, 2004
Desperate Mwea rice farmers are losing millions of shillings to middlemen through cheap sale of their produce.

They are selling their harvest at throwaway prices, and the management of the rice growers multipurpose cooperative society, which invested Sh131 million in 2002-2003 crop has expressed concern.
The society's officials said the farmers were selling the produce at poor prices, due to lack of adequate and ready markets.

Led by the chairman, Jeremiah Kamau, they said farmers were selling 1kg of the popular Basmati (Pishori) rice at Sh21 instead of the recommended Sh25.

The officials appealed to the farmers to wait for buyers willing to offer them better prices.

"We're consulting with the National Cereals and Produce Board which has promised to buy the farmers crop. The [board] is ready to provide a better market to the farmers," Mr Kamu said.

The chairman asked the growers to be patient, adding that the society was working round the clock to assist them.

A spot check by the Nation established that farmers are hawking paddy at the streets of Ngurubani town within the giant Mwea Irrigation Settlement Scheme at very low prices.
MGR Archive 13.1.2004
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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