West Pokot County Government has commissioned a Ksh 50 million mango processing plant in Lomut, which will have a capacity of processing over 20 tonnes a day.
West pokot Governor Prof John Lonyangapuo said that they have considered the immense potential of the area and that it was the right time to exploit since majority of the farmers have been exploited by middle men.
According to Governor Lonyagapuo, the value addition Mango processing plant will also enable farmers to sell their products to the outside market.
Lomut, Sigor and Chesogon areas in West pokot that borders Elgeyo –Marakwet are the biggest producers of the mango fruit and always the biggest supplier in the North rift.
Governor Lonyangapuo hinted that the factory is likely to operationalize this year saying that they have already tendered the supply of the machines.
He added that the county government has set aside fifty acres of land for demonstration purposes for farmers on how to grow and raise mango seedlings. Apple, Tommy and Ngoe are the types farmers are encouraged to grow.
Farmers, however, have been urged to go on full scale on mango growing to be able sustain the factory once it is completed.
West Pokot Women representative Lillian Tomitom who lauded the County Government for setting up the plant said that the farmers should aim to increase the acreage under the fruits to ensure the factory operates at optimum capacity, even off-season.
She said the factory will be a game changer in the region that has been infamous for cattle rustling.
County Director for Investment and cooperative Development William Ntoina said that the processing plant will turn the mangoes into concentrate juice and pastes and that farmers were experiencing post harvest losses.