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Sh300 million cold rooms, warehouse projects to boost potatoes, banana farming

By Erick Abuga | October 30th 2020

The State is set to boost banana and potato farming in the country with Sh300 million worth of storage centres.

The storage facilities will be in Meru, Kisii and Nyandarua, and are expected to help grassroots farmers cut on losses associated with poor produce storage ways.

A member of the parliamentary committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperative, Patrick Wainaina, who is also Thika Town MP, said the projects had been allocated money and ought to be completed on time.

“We don’t want a situation where a few people embezzle the money and kill farmers’ dreams,” he said.

Wainaina was speaking in Kisii alongside fellow committee members Andrew Mwadime (Mwatate), Jared Okello (Nyando), chairman Ali Haji and Gure Anab.

“Let us make Jubilee’s Agenda Four programme a reality by implementing development projects that safeguard food security,” said Wainaina.

Apart from keeping farmers’ potatoes and bananas safely, the storage facilities will be centres of processing the produce, extension services, transport coordination and marketing.

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Kisii banana farmers will have a Sh100 million Kiamokama banana cold storage unit unveiled soon. The project is 76 per cent complete. Farmers in Meru will equally have a potato cold room worth Sh100 million, just like those in Nyandarua.

The committee noted that improved production of bananas and potatoes can only be achieved once the State completes the three key projects.

When complete, the stores will keep surplus produce, thus minimising the occasional losses farmers incur when they fail to sell their products on time and lack a proper store to keep them.

Nyandarua County contributes 33 percent of ware potatoes produced in Kenya. The potato value chain, directly and indirectly, supports 131,697 farm families in the county.

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