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Nandi gets Sh2.5 million cold room to boost horticulture farming

By Rael Jelimo | March 1st 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Governor Stephen Sang and the acting Netherlands Ambassador to Kenya Martine van Hoogstraten yesterday commissioned a cold room for horticultural products.

The facility, which has a capacity of 10 tonnes and cost Sh2.5 million to build, is situated in Chepkunyuk ward.

It was constructed by SNV (a Dutch NGO) in partnership with Meru Greens (a canning company operating under the Export Processing Zone) and the county government.

Mr Sang said his administration had created policies to assist farmers move away from traditional subsistence farming, adding that the cold room would be used to store French beans for export through Meru Greens.

"The county formed this partnership with the Dutch Government and Meru Greens to open up Nandi County to French beans farming and export. This is part of our new policy to move farmers towards contractual farming and new commercial farming activities," said Sang.

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The county boss said Meru Greens and SNV had mentored over 1,000 farmers in Tinderet, Nandi-Hills, Mosop and Emgwen during a three-month pilot period, adding that 258 tonnes of French beans were harvested and sold to European markets.

"The cold room is currently working at 15 per cent capacity. We look forward to more farmers across the six sub-counties embracing French beans farming,” he said.

Meru Green representative Enock Kiplagat said the company specialised in canning produce for export. He assured farmers that this would ensure fewer post-harvest losses.

"Appropriate storage technologies for the perishable products and availability of a ready export markets has made it possible to produce French beans without fear," said Mr Kiplagat.

Ms van Hoogstraten lauded the partnership between the county and the private sector, saying it would help create jobs and reduce poverty.


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