KENYA – The Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA), a regional development organization in Kenya operating in the Rift Valley region has kicked started operations at the Ksh. 60 million (US$545,000) newly built mango processing factory.
The facility whose construction started in 2018 has already produced 100,000 litres of ready to drink juice during its pilot processing phase, awaiting official inauguration in the months to come, reports Standard News.
KVDA has distributed the new soft beverage under the brand name Tot mango juice to retail stores in Rift Valley and Western regions.
“We have already produced 100,000 litres of ready to drink mango juice this month. The new product is already on supermarket shelves. We will be officially launching the commercial production of Tot mango Juice next month,” KVDA Managing Director Sammy Naporos said.
According to the authority, the establishment of the factory is aimed to give farmers ready market for their produce and offer better prices than the middle-men who have been alleged to exploit them.
In addition, the move is aimed to enable the farmers in the region i.e., West Pokot, Turkana, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, and part of Samburu and Nakuru Counties to diversify their operations from cattle keeping which is undermined by perennial cattle rustling menace and venture into mango farming.
“We have already produced 100,000 litres of ready to drink mango juice this month. The new product is already on supermarket shelves. We will be officially launching the commercial production of Tot mango Juice next month.”KVDA Managing Director – Sammy Naporos
The government is further supporting the venture with the establishment of Arror and Kimwarer dams in Elgeyo Marakwet which will increase the acreage of land under mangoes and increase raw materials for the new factory.
Other than mango juice production, the factory will also embark on tomato processing during the low production season of the fruit.
This is a similar concept as that undertaken in Makueni county by the county-government.
Makueni situated Eastern of Kenya entered the ready to drink juice market after the arrival of the second fruit juice processing line at its fruit processing factory earlier last year.
The new line has the capacity to produce 8,000 litres per hour and refine ready to drink juice.
This is an addition to the already existing line processing 5 metric tons of raw mangoes producing 3,000 liters of Puree (Mango concentrate) per hour which when diluted will be used to make read to drink juice.
The Makueni Fruit processing factory was established by the County government in 2017 to stem wastage and raise incomes for fruit farmers in the county which has so far benefited over 12,000 families.
The county also commenced pulping of tomatoes at the fruit processing plant to guarantee continuous production at the plant especially when mangoes run out of season, a time that nearly shut operations of the factory.
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