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Where is the pineapple processing machine? Parliament queries CDA

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13th Parliament

A committee of the National Assembly has asked the Coast Development Authority (CDA) to explain the whereabouts of a pineapple processing machine at the Hola Integrated Fruit processing Plant in Tana River County.

The Departmental Committee on Regional Development toured the plant that is managed by the state corporation Friday and discovered that the pineapple processing line was not in place despite the committee’s records indicating it was purchased and was only awaiting installation.

Committee Chairman Majimbo Kalasinga (Kabuchai) said members expected to see the machine since the CDA had presented submissions to the committee on August 10, 2024 which indicated that the pineapple processing machine had been purchased.

“When we came here, we expected to see the machine, but to our dismay, this is not the case and we shall summon the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary to explain to the committee what actually happened,” he said.

Mr. Kalasinga said there were discrepancies between the submissions presented by the CDA and the current status of the pineapple processing line, and said since Parliament is a house of records, the CDA, the CS and the PS should come clean over the matter.

“On August 10, 2023, the CDA submitted a report claiming that it had procured a pineapple processing machine. Today, we came here to investigate why it’s not operational only to find out that it was not purchased,” an agitated Mr. Kalasinga charged.

The Committee members, who included Harrison Kombe (Magarini), Peter Nabulindo (Matungu), Julius Mawathe (Embakasi South), Paul Abour (Rongo), Major (Rtd) Dekow Barrow (Garissa Town), and Mwago Amos (Starehe), echoed the chairman’s concerns, and emphasized the urgency of completing the Plant to add value to farmers’ produce.

In a rejoinder, CDA Managing Director Mohammed Keinan, said the plant had not been bought because of budgetary cuts that occurred while the procurement process was in progress.

It is true that when we wanted to diversify fruit processing, we as an institution procured a pineapple processing line which was supposed to be installed here. Unfortunately, we had a budgetary cut that forced as to stop the delivery and installation of the pineapple line” Dr. Kainan told the committee.

He urged the committee to allocate more resources to enable the state corporation to purchase the machine as it was still needed.

Mr. Kalasinga and the committee members however commended the CDA for its efforts in improving livelihoods and reducing post-harvest losses for mango farmers through the operationalization of the fruit processing plant.

They stressed the importance of offering competitive prices to farmers and urged the plant management to enhance its capacity to accommodate more mangoes from the market.

The Coast Development Authority (CDA) established the Integrated Fruit Processing Plant (IFPP) in the FY 2013-2014, focusing on mango pulp/puree processing and water purification for human consumption.

KNA
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