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Govt promises to allocate more funds to expand the Integrated Fruit processing plant in Tana

Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of EAC, ASALs, and Regional Development Rebecca Miano has assured mango farmers of the government’s commitment to give a new lease of life to the Coast Development Authority (CDA)- run Integrated Fruit Processing plant in Tana River County.

Currently, the plant is crushing 1,200 tons of mangoes per year yet the mangoes production is much higher hence the need to expand it.

The mango pulp from the plant has been christened Tana Gold and is patented. CDA sells the pulp to locals and major juice-producing companies. It also provides market outlets for local farmers through direct purchasing of raw mangoes from local farmers, reducing post-harvest loss.

Tana River is one of the major mango-producing counties, but besides mangoes, the plant can crush other fruits including pineapples, watermelons, and tomatoes for both local and international markets.

The plant has a honey-processing component that can refine and package semi-refined honey, it also undertakes water bottling for local consumption during fruit-low season.

CS Miano said the project is progressive and it will benefit small-holder farmers in the Coast region. She assured CDA that they have embarked on a resource mobilization mission together with PS ASALs and Regional Development Dr. Idriss Dokota for the expansion of the plant.

“The fruit processing project expansion will be of benefit to the county and the areas that it serves. The board has discussed the project, and we are looking at expanding it. I have been informed that right now is not crushing all available fruits, just because of a lack of resources to expand it,” she said.

CS Miano noted that CDA is implementing a number of projects, including a building blocks project to participate in the national housing project.

“We have a whole menu of projects here and more importantly we are discussing resource mobilization because having projects alone is not enough.

We need resources, we need human projects execution managers, so we are putting our house in order so that we can deliver some of those priority projects,’’ said the CS when she inaugurated newly appointed CDA board members in Mombasa.

She added, “We are funded by the government but in our mandate we are also authorized to have resource mobilization from development partners, private sector and non-sector players and so it will be a mixture of resource mobilization”.

CDA board, CS Miano, said has aligned its strategic plan to the Kenya Kwanza Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

“I am very delighted to be here and to recognize that the CDA board has assured me that they will put their best foot forward to deliver the mandate of the authority and to improve the lives of Kenyans not only in the seven counties that they cover but the country at large,” she said adding that periodical meetings will be held to streamline CDA activities.

By Sadik Hassan

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