Home Business Tana River:MPs pledge support for integrated fruit processing plant

Tana River:MPs pledge support for integrated fruit processing plant

0

The Departmental Committee on Regional Development has pledged to support the expansion of the Coast Development Authority (CDA) Integrated Fruit Processing Plant in Tana River County to curb post-harvest losses.

The Committee, led by Kabuchai legislator Majimbo Kalasinga noted that with the operationalization of the plant with a capacity to crush more than 1,200 tons of mangoes per year, the livelihood of farmers has significantly improved.

The Kabuchai MP said the government is keen to enhance value addition to increase farmers’ earnings.

The plant, he said, needs to be expanded to increase its capacity to satisfy the market with Tana River one of the major mango-producing counties in Kenya.

“As a committee, we should see what best we can do for this plant to move from 1000 litres per hour to 3000 litres per hour to absorb more mangoes from the market,” said Kalasinga during a tour of the plant in Hola, Galole constituency.

He urged CDA to offer farmers competitive prices to discourage them from selling their mangoes to exploitative brokers.

Speaking during the tour of the facility, Magarini MP Mwalimu Kombe said they were satisfied with the plant’s progress, urging farmers to supply mangoes for continuous pulp production at the plant.

“They harvest immature mangos thus contributing to loss. I advise farmers to put more effort by increasing farm acreage of mangoes and to be careful during harvesting to avoid losses,” said Kombe, adding that the plant will improve the economy of the Coast region.

CDA Managing Director CDA Mohamed Keinan said the factory was established primarily to cushion mango farmers in Tana River, Garissa, Lamu and Kilifi counties against any post-harvest loss.

“To our satisfaction, we installed a one-ton-per-hour capacity crushing machine which produces pulp. The pulp is the puree that will sell to juice makers,” said MD Keinan.

Deye Salim, Vice Chairman of Galole Mango Farmers’ Cooperative Society said they will continue to supply mangoes to the plant as CDA offers competitive prices.

“There is direct impact although there are some gaps which must be addressed to move in the right direction. In the past, mangoes used to mature well but brokers made farmers harvest immature mangoes,” said Salim.

Jamey Ayu, a Mango farmer said they have started to reap the economic benefits of the plant as farmers.

“I have educated my children up to the university level. We want the plant to be expanded to crush more mangoes and create employment to improve our livelihoods,” she said.

 

 

 

 

Haniel Mengistu
+ posts