Construction of Nyandarua County’s first potato cold storage and processing facility is underway.
This follows the handing over of the site to a contractor by Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Enterprise Development Mr. Lawrence Karanja and his Principal Secretary Amb. Johnson Weru during a colourful ceremony hosted in Ol’Kalou this morning by His Excellency Governor Francis Kimemia.
The commencement fulfills a pledge His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta made to Governor Kimemia and County residents when he led a groundbreaking ceremony for the facility on January 31, 2020.
Construction of the facility is expected to take a maximum of 90 days.
Thanking the President, Governor Kimemia noted that the facility will assist farmers to add value to their potatoes and help create jobs for youth in Nyandarua and the wider region.
“Our 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. Today marks the start of a journey to end their suffering,” said the Governor.
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.
To realize rapid development, the County boss urged Nyandarua’s leaders to unite and avoid wrangles that characterized the previous administration. (Full speech: http://www.nyandarua.go.ke/…/H.E-TALKING-NOTES-DURING-THE-S… )
County Assembly Speaker Hon. Ndegwa Wahome said that the august House supports the County Government’s ongoing efforts to establish a potato processing factory.
“This will help uplift the livelihoods of our farmers,” he said.
Mr. Karanja assured that the President is ready to avail numerous other opportunities to Nyandarua.
“Expect a lot more in the remaining two years of his term,” he said.
In a courtesy call earlier at the Governor’s office, both Mr. Karanja and Amb. Weru promised to help establish a crops laboratory in Nyandarua that will certify produce from the County to facilitate farmers’ access into international markets, particularly the European Union.
Nyandarua has witnessed unprecedented traffic of Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries over the past two weeks, who have been following up on previous commitments by the President to Nyandarua.
Present were Her Excellency Deputy Governor Cecilia Mbuthia, County Commissioner Mr. Boaz Cherutich, alongside County Executive Committee Members Hon. Rafael Njui (Industrialization, Trade and Co-operatives), Hon. Mary Mugwanja (Finance and Economic Development), Hon. Ann Mary Gathigia (Public Administration and Information Communication Technology), Hon. (Dr) James Karitu (Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries), Hon. Milka Wanjiru (Water, Environment, Tourism and Natural Resources), Hon. Lawrence Mukundi (Lands, Housing, Physical Planning and Urban Development), Hon. Daniel Wangenye (Transport, Energy and Public Works) and acting County Secretary Hon. Stephen Njoroge (who is 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), in addition to his counterparts Hon. Muchiri Kariuki (Murungaru Ward), Hon. Kamau Gathungu (Leshau Pondo Ward) and Ken Mukira ( Karau Ward).
In attendance was Chief of Staff Mr. Charles Wachira and several chief officers, among other senior National and County Government officials.