Highly perishable mangoes in Tana River County will not go to waste, resulting in losses for lack of market.
This is after Coast Regional Commissioner Mr. John Elungata commissioned a 200 million shillings Hola integrated fruit processing factory in Galole Constituency.
The factory plant was set up and would be operated by the Coast Development Authority (CDA) to provide a ready market for mango farmers in Tana River County.
The fruit project, when fully operational, has the capacity to process 30 metric tonnes of mangoes a day and there are 30 direct workers and 2,250 mango collectors serving the plant.
Addressing the media after commissioning the fruit plant, Elungata said the fruit processing factory will in the long run improve farmers’ livelihoods and also create jobs for locals.
Elungata who was accompanied by Tana River Governor Major (rtd) Dhadho Godhana, Galole Mp Said Buya Hiribae, (CDA) MD Dr. Mohamed Keinan, Tana River County Commissioner Mbogai Rioba among other National County Government officials said the factory is good news for Tana River people who grow plenty of mangoes but have no viable market for them.
He said the plant will help mango farmers in providing a market for their mango fruits by addressing post-harvest loss by salvaging any surplus mango fruits from going to waste, leverage on value addition, and increase farmer’s profitability.
Mr. Elungata who is the Chairperson of the Coast Regional Development Implementation Coordination Committee (RDICC) said the venture would be a ‘game changer’ and would boost local farmers’ incomes through value-adding of their mango fruits and in the long run fight poverty.
Elungata who is also a member of the CDA board of directors hinted that plans are now on top gear in preparations for the official launch of the factory by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Dr. Keinan said the plant has a capacity of producing 1 tonne of mango pulp per hour and the machine will be operated eight hours per day nonstop.
CDA said the fruit juice processing plant has been upgraded to include a water production line and will be operating 24 hours in three shifts which will lead to creating more employment for the locals to work in the factory.
Dr. Keinan disclosed plans are underway to upgrade the factory to a multi-fruit juice facility to include processing pineapples and other fruits grown locally in the region.
The MD urged the local farmers to ensure a steady supply of raw materials saying it signals good news for local mango and pineapple farmers.
[factory workers performing routine tasks to prepare mango pulp at the commissioned Hola Integrated fruit processing factory. Photo/Haramo Ali].
Tana River Governor Major (rtd) Dhadho Godhana lauded the initiative saying the project falls in his development agenda of opening up cottage industries in cluster villages in his county which are supposed to bolster the communities’ economically.
Godhana said the commissioned fruit processing factory is in line with President Uhuru Big Four Agenda in the area of food security and manufacturing with the main aim of focusing on job creation among the community.
The Governor said plans are underway for the official launch of the Hola integrated fruit processing by President Uhuru Kenyatta while also launching the village cluster programs which are supposed to revive industries in the agriculture sector in the areas of livestock, mariculture, and apiculture among others.