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Kuria roots for industrialisation in counties

Outgoing Trade, Investments, and Industry Cabinet Secretary (CS) Moses Kuria has challenged county governments to prioritise industrial production as a way of promoting the local economies.

Kuria said governors should set targets for production and value the addition of diverse local produce to curb reliance on imports.

This, he said, will address economic challenges and save the country foreign exchange.

Mr. Kuria made the remarks during the launch of the Homa Bay County aggregation and industrial park in Riwa, Karachuoyo constituency.

He hailed Governor Gladys Wanga for her commitment to the realisation of industrial take-off in the county, saying that it was in line with the government’s bottom-up transformation agenda.

The CS called on investors to establish firms for the production of different products.

Mr. Kuria said the industrial parks, which offer a platform where several industries engage in the production of different goods, should be put to good use.

“Counties need to set targets for the production of goods and compete among themselves. This is the only way they will be sustained,” he said.

Kuria said the time for political fights was over, and it was now time to address challenges afflicting the electorate.

“Leaders should unite for the sake of development. Politics should only be allowed when campaign season is near,” Mr. Kuria said.

The CS was accompanied by Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga, Woman Representative Joyce Osogo, and Karachuonyo MP Adipo Okumu at the launch of the county industrial park, which measures 353 acres.

Homa Bay will use the facility to exploit the production of edible oil and cotton.

Already, farmers have expressed their willingness to produce crops such as oil palm that will be used in the production of edible oil.

Other crops that will be processed at the park include sweet potatoes, pineapple, and others.

Mr. Kuria said some investors have already shown a willingness to set up firms at the park.

It includes an investor who wants to establish a cotton ginnery.

“Another investor wants to engage in fish production by making boats. It is an opportunity that the county government should take advantage of,” the CS said.

Mr. Kuria encouraged local investors to set up industries within counties.

He said some people have been establishing firms in foreign countries when Kenya has few people doing the same.

“With the industrial parks, there will be urban-rural migration. People will also move from the diaspora back to the country to invest,” Mr. Kuria said.

Governor Wanga said the launch of the industrial park comes at a time when her administration is finalising the registration of farmers.

She said Homa Bay has registered more than 220,000 farmers, which was so far the highest in the country.

Ms. Wanga said they will be supported to make them more productive.

“After registration, the farmers will get subsidised farm inputs to enable them to realise maximum production,” the governor said.

Meanwhile, she asked the contractor undertaking the project to consider local youth and women in the provision of labour.

She also called on the government to ensure roads to the industrial park are completed.

It includes Oijo Oteko Road, where the contractor abandoned the site before completing the project.

Another key road that supports the park is the Kanyadhiang-Pala-Kanidge-Kadel Ring Road.

“If they are done, we will be sure that goods will move with ease in and out of the park,” Ms. Wanga said.

By Davis Langat

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