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Tot mango market to open

The Tot mango factory which is being funded by the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) will from next week start buying mangoes from farmers as it prepares to start operations.
David Biwott who was speaking on behalf of KVDA MD said the authority had already tested the equipment at the factory saying all were working but they were yet to buy one more machine to make the factory fully operational.
Speaking during Mashujaa Day celebrations at Chesoi in Marakwet East sub county, Biwott said KVDA had this year set aside Sh49 million to complete all the pending works at the factory.
“We are now looking for certification from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and others to enable us distribute our products to the market,” he said.
Biwott said that given that this is the mango harvesting season in the area, they would start operating day and night shifts to ensure that they process 30 metric tons in a 24-hour period.
Area MP Kangogo Bowen said the factory would save farmers millions of money lost when mangoes go to waste when they have nowhere to sell their mangoes or when lorries get stuck due to poor roads.
“As we talk, hundreds of lorries are stuck from Tot to Chesongoch after the road was cut off by huge gullies as a result of the rains being experienced. The longer the lorries get stuck, the mangoes will ripen and go to waste,” he said.
The Tot factory will be the second mango factory serving the Kerio Valley which is a major mango producing area after another one partly funded by the Japanese government at the Cheptebo AIC agricultural training centre which only deals with apple mangoes.
The MP further expressed disappointment that despite the national government spending millions in the improvement of roads in the area, there was nothing to show on the ground with some of the roads being poorly constructed.
“I am calling on the government to take stern action on the contractors as they were affecting the livelihood of many in the area,” he said.
The MP said that CDF would be giving Sh20 million to add on to the Sh105 million from the national government for the construction of Liter girls which would be built afresh after it was swept off by a landslide in April this year.
He added that a further Sh50 million from the NG-CDF would go towards the establishment of a Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) in the area saying they had gotten a further Sh35 million from Marakwet West NG-CDF and the wards from Marakwet East.
By Alice Wanjiru

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