Construction of Nyandarua County’s first potato cold storage and processing facility will commence this month, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Enterprise Development Mr. Lawrence Karanja has announced.
Speaking during a courtesy call at the office of the Governor in Engineer Town today, Mr. Karanja said the commencement will fulfill a pledge His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta made to His Excellency Governor Francis Kimemia and County residents when he led a groundbreaking ceremony for the facility at Ol’Kalou on January 31, 2020.
“We will have a meeting to hand over the construction site to the contractor on June 22, 2020,” he said.
The facility will assist farmers to add value to their potatoes and help create jobs for the youth in Nyandarua and wider region.
President Kenyatta’s day-long tour also saw the Head of State launch a KShs. 4 billion Stawisha SME Mashinani, a national program by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Enterprise Development aimed at supporting small businesses in the country.
Mr. Karanja, who was hosted this morning by Her Excellency Deputy Governor, said his ministry is ready to avail numerous other opportunities to Nyandarua’s traders.
“The credit guarantee unveiled by the President as part of our ongoing economic stimulus program is one thing that residents of this great County should take advantage of,” he said.
He further revealed that Jua Kali sheds in Ol’Kalou will receive support worth KShs. 5 million in the form of tools and equipment.
Magumu Jua Kali, which was the first stop-over for Mr. Karanja’s high-powered delegation – which included Chief Administrative Secretary for Education, Science and Technology Mr. Zack Kinuthia – will also receive support from the National Government.
On his part, Mr. Kinuthia rooted for enhanced enrollment in Vocational Training Colleges (VTCs) and Technical Training Institutes (TTIs).
“The government is supporting every student in VTCs by availing a capitation of KShs. 15,000. We must encourage our youth to enroll by ensuring courses offered are marketable,” he said.
The two leaders’ countywide inspection of projects and institutions included visits to Kinangop Vocational Training College, Miharati Market, Ol’Kalou Jua Kali sheds, Ol’Kalou Dairies, Ndaragwa Technical and Vocational College and Ndaragwa market.
The Deputy Governor urged the leaders to consider upgrading Nyandarua Institute of Science and Technology to a national polytechnic.
She also informed them that the County Government has set aside land for an industrial park at Marshes in Magumu.
“Continued co-operation between the two levels of our government for the benefit of Nyandarua’s residents is commendable,” she said.
Present was County Assembly Speaker Hon. Ndegwa Wahome, alongside County Executive Committee Members Hon. Stephen Njoroge (Education, Gender Affairs, Culture and Social Services), Hon. Raphael Njui (Industrialization, Trade and Co-operatives), Hon. Milka Wanjiru (Water, Environment, Tourism and Natural Resources) and Hon. Mary Gathigia (Public Administration, Enforcement and Information Communication Technology).
In attendance were Members of the County Assembly Hon. Ken Mukira (Karau Ward), Hon. Justus Gaita (Kiriita Ward), Hon. David Maitai (Ndaragwa Central Ward) and Hon. Kamau Gathungu (Leshau Pondo Ward), among other senior National and County Government officials.