In Summary
  • The bloc consists of eight counties namely Samburu, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Elgeyo-Marakwet and Turkana. Each county will specialise in a particular value addition chain. For instance, West Pokot County will construct an abattoir as we set up a milk processing unit so that all milk from the other counties are bought and processed here.
  • We are in talks with a private investor to establish the milk processing unit. Currently, we are distributing mango seedlings to boost production so that we can start a processing plant in about five years. And as you are aware, the mango fruit flies had hampered production of the fruits.

It is almost three years since you took office, how have you bettered farmers’ fortunes?        

Before devolution, most farmers were planting maize and keeping cows for sustenance. We have now rolled out, with the help of Tea Research Foundation, an initiative to promote the crop. So far, we have distributed more than 710,000 tea seedlings, which they were buying at a subsidised price of Sh10 each. Over 72,500 coffee seedlings have also been given out to farmers.

Recently, county bosses in North Rift came together to form an economic bloc. What is the stake of farmers in this unit?

The bloc consists of eight counties namely Samburu, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Elgeyo-Marakwet and Turkana. Each county will specialise in a particular value addition chain. For instance, West Pokot County will construct an abattoir as we set up a milk processing unit so that all milk from the other counties are bought and processed here.

We are in talks with a private investor to establish the milk processing unit. Currently, we are distributing mango seedlings to boost production so that we can start a processing plant in about five years. 

And as you are aware, the mango fruit flies had hampered production of the fruits.

We have partnered with Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service to roll out a campaign in which farmers have been taught new methods to trap the insects using the female pheromones. We are discouraging the use of chemicals as this will disadvantage our farmers when accessing the export market.

So is value addition the way to go?

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