Nyandarua’s pyrethrum farmers can sigh with relief, following entry of a major investor into the sector this morning.
At a consultative forum in Ol’Kalou bringing together 80 leaders from Nyandarua’s vibrant co-operative movement, Her Excellency Deputy Governor Cecilia Mbuthia announced that members in each ward will be at the forefront of the revival, ranging from farming, value addition and marketing.
“Nyandarua is known for its leading role in milk and potato production. Now it is your turn,” she said.
The County-approved Industrial Promotion Services (IPS) is the infrastructure and industrial development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), which is an affiliate of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
Established in the early 1960s, IPS was created to provide venture capital, technical assistance and management support to encourage and expand private enterprise in the developing world, particularly countries of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Through Memoranda of Understanding with co-operative societies, IPS will provide seedlings, fertilizer and a ready market to absorb over 100 metric tonnes of dry pyrethrum.
Ahead of his election in 2017, His Excellency Governor Francis Kimemia pledged to institutionalize a private sector-led economic development in partnership with investors from within and across the globe, targeting value addition; market access and linkages; and introduction of high value products like pyrethrum, among other crops.
Outright theft and mismanagement crippled the thriving pyrethrum industry in Kenya from the early 1990s, leaving thousands of Nyandarua’s families in deep misery.
“Time has come to deliver on this promise. Our journey of hope continues and more milestones will be achieved,” said the Deputy Governor.
The Governor has also recently reclaimed 860 acres of land belonging to the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya in Ol’Jororok Sub-County, which had been illegally acquired by a private developer.
Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Enterprise Development Mr. Lawrence Karanja, who passed by on his way to inspect on-going construction of the upcoming potato cold storage facility on the outskirts of Ol’Kalou, hailed participants for being part of the historic moment.
Through Mr. Karanja and other national leaders, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta is part of Nyandarua’s ongoing transformation by restarting the County Government Headquarters project in Ol’Kalou, on-going tarmacking of roads, rehabilitation of the Gilgil-Nyahururu metre gauge railway, construction of water dams, upgrading of vocational training centres, and support for co-operatives through the provision of coolers, among other initiatives.
Present was County Executive Committee Member for Industrialization, Trade, Co-operatives and Urban Development Hon. Raphael Njui and Chief Officers Dr. Joseph Maina (Agriculture), Samson Mweru (Industrialization and Trade) and Samuel Muchunu (Co-operatives), among other senior County Government officials.
Later in the day, Hon. Njui accompanied the deputy County head on an inspection tour of Ziara Dairy in Wanjohi Ward, Kipipiri Sub-County, ahead of the factory’s official opening by Governor Kimemia next week.