Director of Administration in the State Department for Devolution Mr. Fred M. Mwei, paying a courtesy call on His Excellency Governor Francis Kimemia at the County Government Headquarters in Ol’Kalou.
Heading a team from the Department and the Council of Governors, Mr. Mwei said his mission was to verify Nyandarua’s capacity to produce a minimum of 500,000 tonnes of potatoes.
Governor Kimemia said the current efficiency in potato production stands at over 540,000 tonnes, which translates to 38 per cent of the expected produce.
Noting that this can be boosted by soil testing, provision of subsidized fertilizer and quality clean seeds, Governor Kimemia hailed His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta for his commitment towards fulfilling promises he made to Nyandarua residents.
Nyandarua, which accounts for 33 per cent of Kenya’s potato production, is also a leader in the ongoing enforcement of the 50-kilograms potato packaging regulations, enacted during Governor Kimemia’s tenure.
Despite its enormous potential, Nyandarua’s farmers lose up to 40 per cent of their potato harvest due to lack of a storage facility, compounded by exploitation by brokers and middlemen.
Supported by the National Government, construction of Nyandarua’s first potato cold storage and processing facility is underway in Ol’Kalou.
The County expects to have four similar facilities in Kinangop, Mirangine, Ngano and Shamata.
In collaboration with the UN-HABITAT, the County Government is set to put up other potato processing plants across Nyandarua.
The National Government is further expected to establish a crops laboratory in Nyandarua that will certify produce from the County to facilitate farmers’ access into international markets, particularly the European Union.
Present were County Executive Committee Members Hon. Rafael Njui (Industrialization, Trade and Co-operatives), Hon. Mary Mugwanja (Finance and Economic Development), Hon. (Dr) James Karitu (Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries), Hon. Lawrence Mukundi (Lands, Housing, Physical Planning and Urban Development), Hon. Ann Gathigia (Public Administration and Information Communication Technology) and acting County Secretary Hon. Stephen Njoroge (also in charge of Education, Gender Affairs, Culture and Social Services).
Others were Leader of the Majority in the County Assembly Hon. Edinald King’ori (North Kinangop Ward), his counterpart Hon. Wairimu Njane (Charagita) and Chief of Staff Mr. Charles Wachira, among other senior National and County Government officials.