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Mango farmers set to benefit after government links them to an investor

Mango farmers in Makueni County stand to reap more benefits from their produce after the government found a new market outside Kenya, Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr has said.

Governor Mutula said this on Thursday after meeting with the Presidential Economic Transformation Secretariat led by the Senior Advisor to the President Augustine Cheruiyot in his Wote office where they discussed transformation of agriculture especially on value chain.

The governor said that farmers will now earn higher profits besides curbing wastage of mangoes hence improving their standard of living.

“This team has an investor on mango. They collected our samples from Kalamba Fruit factory and took it abroad to an investor outside Kenya. The only thing we need is to increase our production,” said Mutula Jnr while speaking to the media outside his office.            

“I want to announce that we are not only the best producers of mangoes in Kenya but we have qualified to export in the field of puree which is a good thing. It is good for people growing mangoes because it is going to reduce the 45 percent going to waste and it will address poverty levels among farmers,” Governor Mutula said.            

He noted that 78 percent of the residents of Makueni are engaged in agriculture and added that if well supported they will increase food production that will boost food security in the country.

“We have identified key agenda on agriculture where collaboration can be done to ensure the value chain in agriculture can solve the problem of food insecurity and unemployment among the youth in the county,” he added.

Mutula further said that his government will embark on coordinating the relevant dockets to ensure the planned initiatives are actualised especially through cooperatives besides having aggregating centres in wards across the county.

Dr. Cheruiyot said the national government was ready to work closely with the county to ensure they avail resources especially in the mango value added chain.

At the same time, the President’s Economic Advisor said that they have also identified the livestock sector where they will collaborate with the county to improve the 289,000 head of cattle to increase productivity.

“We want Makueni County to become a centre of excellence for mango production both for local and export market. In livestock, we have 289,000 cattle of zebu breed that can be upgraded to increase productivity. Now they are doing 70 kilos but we aim to double that to 140 kilos just by managing. That is why we are introducing a feedlot,” posed Dr Cheruiyot.

“Also we are going to set up an extension system but using a different model called the entrepreneur model that is the market model,” he added.

Dr Cheruiyot also said that they are going to ensure the food is safe by introducing a veterinary component where animal health will be given priority in every Ward through setting veterinary units in the Wards.

 He said that all these will run under the cooperative system specifically in a multi-value chain where cooperatives will be put in every Ward and will be linked with the aggregation centres to address the financial component.

Present at the event included Department of Agriculture and Irrigation Executive Committee Member (ECM) Joyce Mutua among other senior officials from the county government.

By Patrick Nyakundi


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