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Farmers group gets boost to complete stalled mango processing plant

The Can-Do-Kids Patron, Karanja Mburu handing over a cheque to members of Gikindu Mango Self-Help Group on Saturday July 13, 2019 towards completion of a Mango Processing Plant. Photo by Bernard Munyao/KNA.

A  group of farmers in Murang’a has got a financial boost to complete a Mango processing plant  which has been under construction for over 10 years.

The  Gikindu Mangoes Self Help Group from Kambirwa area in Kiharu Constituency on Saturday received Sh.120, 000 from American philanthropists through Can-Do-Kids Charity organization.

The  funds  will facilitate completion of construction of the house which the farmers started 10 years but stalled for lack of adequate cash flow.

Once  completed, the building will host machinery for extracting mango juice and sheds for drying  the fruits with aim of fetching more returns from the produce.

The  first  phase  of  the project  will  require  Sh.650, 000  which  Can-Do-Kid Kenyan patron, Karanja  Mburu  Wamatangi  has  promised to mobilize  from well-wishers to support the farmers.

Each  member  farmer, Karanja  said, has been paying Sh.150 per month, which is inadequate to complete the project that requires a total of  Sh.4.5 million.

The  group which was established in 2009 has 70 members and have been drying mangoes at their homes.

Karanja  said his organization was touched by efforts of the farmers to do value addition of their fruits purportedly to fetch more returns.

“I  was  touched by the farmers’ efforts and decided to mobilize well-wishers to support the farmers. I appeal for more help to the farmers as the project will improve socio-economic welfare of the local community,” he noted.

Speaking  on  Saturday when he handed over a cheque to the farmers, Karanja  who has been championing construction of water tanks to local schools, said the group needed help to complete the project that would be of great benefit to the local community.

“Dried mangoes have big market and Kambirwa is known for high production of the fruits. The plant is designed to increase output of dried mangoes and extraction of juice which sells at high prices,” added Karanja.

Currently, majority of the farmers sell fresh mangoes which attracts low prices and 70 percent of their production usually goes to waste due to lack of value addition and proper storage.

After  the  first  phase, Karanja noted that the farmers would be in a position to dry their mangoes but extraction of juice would commence once the project was fully completed.

The  Chairman of the group, Peter  Muchoki said many buyers both local and international have showed interest to buy their dried mangos.

He noted that demand for dried mangoes was huge and the group could not satisfy it at the moment.

“We are looking forward to complete this project which will also support us in packaging and branding our mangoes so as to get lucrative prices. Currently, buyers get our mangoes and brand for themselves,” added Muchoki.

He lauded Can-Do-Kids for the support saying soon they would increase the quantity of dried mangoes in which international buyers have showed interest.

By  Bernard  Munyao

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