A Thika-based macadamia nuts processor has started an affordable housing scheme that will benefit growers of the crop in ten counties.
Jungle Nuts Ltd plans to provide affordable houses to its members, estimated to be more than 100,000, through its super cluster system. Each cluster is made up of about 100 farmers while several clusters in a region make up a super cluster.
The firm’s CEO, Patrick Wainaina, said the super cluster in each county would buy land where members will construct five-storey buildings.
Wainaina, who is also the Thika Town MP, said the initiative would contribute to the attainment of the Government’s affordable housing plan under Big Four agenda.
Speaking to the press on the sidelines of a Jungle Nuts workshop in Embu Town, Wainaina said the project would ride on members’ savings, which currently stands at over Sh100 million.
“The initiative will enable macadamia farmers to save money and access loans through their Saccos while also benefiting from affordable housing scheme,” he said.
Responding to concerns about farmers on lack of agricultural extension officers, Wainaina called on the state to employ more officers who would be easily available to the farmers to boost food security in the country.
“We urge the government to consider reintroducing the services of agriculture extension officers and establish research stations to boost the macadamia nuts farming. Last year, the crop earned the country Sh15 billion,” said the CEO.
The plans by the nuts processor comes amid a concerted push by the government and various stakeholders to raise the stock of affordable housing in the country.
The real estate industry, as currently set up, has been blamed for among others only catering for the upper end of the market leaving a vast majority of the population unable to get good quality housing.
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