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Sh300m potato plant construction to kick off next week

By James Munyeki | June 15th 2020

President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre), Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia (left) and Agriculture CS Peter Munya (right) during the launch of the project on January 31,2020. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The construction of a potato cold storage and processing facility in Nyandarua County will begin this month, Industrialisation Chief Administrative Secretary Lawrence Karanja has said. 

Speaking during a courtesy call at Governor Francis Kimemia's office in Engineer Town, Karanja said the start of construction of the Sh300 million plant would fulfil a pledge President Uhuru Kenyatta made to county residents when he led a groundbreaking ceremony for the facility in Ol'Kalou on January 31 this year. 

“We will have a meeting to hand over the construction site to the contractor on June 22, 2020,” the CAS said. 

The facility is aimed at helping farmers add value to their potatoes and creating jobs for the youth in Nyandarua and the wider region.

Karanja, who was hosted by Deputy Governor Cecilia Mbuthia, said his ministry is ready to make numerous other opportunities available to Nyandarua’s traders.  

"The credit guarantee unveiled by the president as part of our ongoing economic stimulus programme is one thing that residents should take advantage of," he said. 

He added that Jua Kali sheds in Ol’Kalou would receive support worth Sh5 million in the form of tools and equipment. 

Enhanced enrolment

Magumu Jua Kali, which was the first stop-over for Karanja’s delegation that included Education Chief Administrative Secretary Zack Kinuthia, will also receive support from the national government.

On his part, Kinuthia rooted for enhanced enrolment in vocational training colleges (VTCs) and technical training institutes (TTIs).  

"The government is supporting every student in VTCs by making available a capitation of Sh15,000. We must encourage our youth to enrol by ensuring the courses offered are marketable," he said. 

The two leaders’ countywide inspection of projects and institutions included visits to Kinangop Vocational Training College, Miharati Market, Ol’Kalou Jua Kali sheds, Ol’Kalou dairies, Ndaragwa Technical and Vocational College and Ndaragwa market. 

The deputy governor urged the leaders to consider upgrading Nyandarua Institute of Science and Technology to a national polytechnic. 

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