KENYA – Machakos County in Eastern Kenya, has officially commissioned the Best Tropical Fruits Processing Hub, aimed to add value to the region’s produce and provide direct market for the farmer’s produce.
The new processing facility is deemed to be a game-changer as it has also created employment opportunities for the youths in the area.
Targeting the lucrative international markets; Australia, Europe and other countries across the world, the manufacturing hub is undertaking processing of high-quality mangoes, avocados, banana, pawpaw, tree tomatoes, peanuts and macadamia into avocado oil, macadamia oil, peanut oil, tree tomato juice, dried banana, dried pawpaw and mango juice.
Recycling is one of the greatest driving forces for this plant as the company uses the refuse to produce mango seed charcoal, avocado seed charcoal, mango seed cattle meal and macadamia livestock meal.
“There is a huge unmet demand for agricultural products like avocado oils, now popularly known as green gold, and beauty product companies are scrambling for the little that is available.
“I urge our youth in Machakos to tap into the riches in agriculture and change their fortunes. Farming is no longer just for the elderly and there is money to be made in agriculture,” said Machakos County Governor, Alfred Mutua during the inauguration of the processing hub.
The county head revealed that the government will build a similar processing plant so as to help more farmers to market their produce locally and internationally.
“I urge our youth in Machakos to tap into the riches in agriculture and change their fortunes. Farming is no longer just for the elderly and there is money to be made in agriculture.”Machakos County Governor – Alfred Mutua
He further urged the farmers to join cooperatives and farmers associations to enable them aggregate their produce and boost their selling power, in addition to getting better link to finances, agricultural inputs and information.
“My government through the department of agriculture and our partners has supported farmers to embrace modern farming techniques.
“Farmers who have embraced the quarter acre farming model are already reaping from it and I encourage more people to join the bandwagon through the county agricultural ministry,” Governor Mutua stated.
With the launch of the fruit processing hub, Machakos has joined its neighbouring county, Makueni, which commenced pulping of tomatoes at its fruit processing plant which has been producing mango puree.
The plant also commenced production of ready to drink juice at its new line with a processing capacity of 8,000 litres per hour.
Meanwhile the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA), a regional development organization in Kenya operating in the Rift Valley region, kicked started operations at the Ksh. 60 million (US$545,000) newly built mango processing factory in January this year.
The facility whose construction started in 2018, has produced 100,000 litres of ready to drink juice during its pilot processing phase.
KVDA has distributed the new soft beverage under the brand name Tot mango juice to retail stores in Rift Valley and Western regions.
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