Nyandarua Governor His Excellency Francis T. Kimemia today began efforts to reform the county’s ailing potato sub-sector.
Speaking when he met with representatives from each Sub-County the Governor said it is vital to enforce the ban on packaging of potatoes in 200 kilogramme bags.
“My adminstration shall ensure enforcement of packaging into 50 kilogrammes bags through its enforcement officers and a Nyandarua Potato Taskforce comprising of directors from the departments of Agriculture, Co-operatives, Trade and Finance,” he said.
However, he noted that the issue is systemic.
“We also need to look into the lack of seeds and market for our produce,” he said.
The Governor said priority shall be given to Nyandarua farmers so that they can reap maximum benefits from their hard work.
“The County Government shall set up a potato cold storage facility in every Sub-County and establish a potato tuber laboratory in the county,” he said.
He added: “We will also set up a store center to measure exact weights, in addition to creating a revolving fund which will increase profits in the potato industry and employ more of our youths.”
The move is expected to create international markets for Nyandarua’s legendary potatoes.
The Governor urged farmers to set up co-operatives for bargaining power over middlemen and to legally engage with the County Government.
“A revival of markets such as Loriondo, Soko Mjinga and Ndaragwa shall be done by piping water and immediately connecting electricity connection. Murungaru Cold storage is to be facilitated with seed capital,” he said.
The reforms are to be enhanced by the establishment of a potato-processing factory.
The Governor was flanked by Deputy Governor Her Excellency (Mrs.) Cecilia Mbuthia and several senior County Government officials.
A follow-up meeting is expected in two months to review progress made on issues raised today.