Early every Wednesday morning, livestock and people flock Souk Hoola livestock market in Garissa. The livestock are very healthy and are sold at very high prices, contrary to media information that livestock prices have dropped to rock bottom due to the biting drought.
The market is a beehive of activity. Most traders are either selling livestock or horticultural crops and a lot of money is exchanging hands, either between traders and buyers or traders, buyers and brokers.
Abdinur Ole Hussein, a resident of Garissa, notes that brokerage is so common in the area because the residents trust brokers.
“Brokers reap where they have not sown,” he said, giving an example of how a broker can identify livestock being sold at Ksh30, 000 and look for a buyer with the intention of selling at Ksh35,000,” he said.
He noted that financial institutions like Saccos can render the same services these middlemen offer.
“This can be done without raising prices since the Sacco can oversee production, buy and distribute the goods to the desired market and thus bridge the poverty gaps on the producers by offering direct services,” he explained.
He went on to discourage traders against using middlemen, arguing that the middlemen hugely contribute to the high cost of goods and are a threat to food security.
“Saccos can simply stop middlemen from getting away with the bulk of profits.’’ He said.
By Amoto Ndiewo
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