Proposed fruit processing plant gives hope to Kwale farmers

Fruit farmers in Kwale have a reason to smile as the county government proposes to construct the first ever fruit processing factory as part of kick starting the Big 4 Agenda in the region.

Residents lauded the move, saying the project to be located in Kubo in the agriculturally rich Shimba Hills was long overdue.

They noted that the plant will cushion them against the heavy loses they have been incurring due to lack of a reliablemarket for their produce.

The county government has given priority to the implementation of projects aligned to the Big Four Agenda, which includes affordable housing, universal healthcare, food security and manufacturing.

While signing the budget, Governor Salim Mvurya, said his government embraced President Uhuru Kenyatta’s development agenda since it would transform locals’ lives, and the economy of the county and country in general. .

Former Tiwi Ward Rep. Omar Mwakwambirizwa said the fruit factory which is among the projects proposed for funding in 2018/2019 financial year’s Sh.12.2 billion county budget, will help in poverty alleviation by boosting incomes and creating employment.

The county produces a lot of fruits, most of which have been rotting in farms over the years, owing to persistent market challenges hence the factory will help them cut down on the losses, said Mwakwambirizwa.

He added that the youth will gain from direct employment once the factory was set up.

Mwakwambirizwa urged local leaders to push for the implementation of more viable development projects, geared towards wealth creation and employment in the region.

He also called for the establishment of an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in the county, citing the availability of tracts of land mainly in Matuga and Kinango Sub-counties as an incentive for such an initiative.

I believe more youth will benefit from such development besides boosting socio-economic growth of this county, he added.

Source: Kenya News Agency