Plans by the government to end importation of maize are on top gear, with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua stating the move is aimed to protect the local market for the Kenyan farmers’ benefit.
Speaking on Friday after commissioning the expanded Joy Millers Ltd processing plant, in Kutus, Kirinyaga County, the Deputy President said the government is sustaining distribution of subsidised fertiliser to farmers to spur food production.
“We are working to end importation of maize as one of the ways of spurring production and protecting the market for our farmers’ benefit. We are here today because one of the pillars of the Kenya Kwanza Administration is stimulating manufacturing and setting up of industries by the Public and the Private Sector,” said the Deputy President.
He praised the director of Joy Millers Ltd, Mr Julius Chomba for the multi-million shilling investment.
He said the growth of Mr Chomba matches the Kenya Kwanza administration’s bottom-up economic model.
“We are here to not only witness what it means to start from the Bottom, but also expanding opportunities for others in the spirit of inclusive growth. Congratulations are in order to the staff and management of Joy Millers for these two key milestones- doubling the processing capacity to 800 Metric Tonnes per day in maize flour and sustaining quality,” said the DP.
During the event the company received the Diamond Mark of Quality from the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
The company has risen from a supplier of fast-moving consumer goods to a giant processor of maize and wheat.
The Deputy President was accompanied by Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Senator Kamau Murango, Woman Representative Njeri Maina and MPs Githinji Gichimu (Gichugu), Gachoki Gitari (Kirinyaga Central), Mary Maingi (Mwea), George Kariuki (Ndia), Gitonga Mukunji (Manyatta), Eric Wamumbi (Mathira), Nebeart Muriuki (Mbeere South) and Caleb Mutiso Mule (Machakos town).
A host of MCAs led by Kirinyaga speaker Julius Murimi Muteti, Kenya Seed Company Board chairperson Wangui Ngirichi and business persons were also present.
The leaders also lauded Mr Chomba’s investment for creating job opportunities for the youth and other stakeholders in the food distribution chain.
In his speech, the Deputy President called on private investors to tap into the County Aggregation and Industrial Parks that have launched by the government in various parts of the country.
He also said Kenya has increased maize production from 44 Million Metric Tonnes to 61 Million Metric Tonnes.
“We encourage the private sector to invest in training farmers for harvests that meet the standards and demands of the market.
In addition, with the country still registering post-harvest losses of up to 36 percent in storage, training of farmers in moisture and environment-friendly pest control measures is key to sustaining quality raw materials,” he stated.