Agriculture Training Center at Kwa Kathoka (Makueni ATC)
The Makueni Agricultural Training Center is located eight (8) kilometers from Wote town in Muvau/Kikumini ward of Makueni subcounty along Wote – Kathonzweni road. The centre was established in early 2012 following consultations and liaison with then Ministry of Agriculture headquarters and KALRO management to create an ATC in Makueni County. A total of 30 acres of land at KALRO Kambi Mawe sub-station were set aside for that purpose. To-date, the ATC has developed a school section and a demonstration farm section both of which are utilized as instruments for farmer training and for hosting workshops and conferences. The centre also boasts of a hostel with 15 self-contained rooms for providing accommodation to trainees and participants while on residential training and seminars. The County has developed a draft bill to convert the Makueni ATC to a TVET institution.
NB: Photos of ATC Kwa Kathoka including seminar sessions
The centre is mandated to:
- Provide directly or in collaboration with other accredited institutions of learning, facilities for training on relevant farming technologies and other ancillary subjects;
- Exhibit solely or in collaboration with other development partners and stakeholder’s practical demonstrations in agriculture and in any other relevant aspect of human development
- Preserve and improve access to information and knowledge in agriculture and other development matters;
- Provide facilities for and participate in carrying out adaptive on farm trials of relevant technologies
- Commercialize farm enterprises through bulking of plant materials and multiplication of livestock breeds and fish fingerlings.
Agriculture Mechanization Services
The Makueni Agriculture Mechanization Services undertakes the following services:
- Land preparation activities i.e. ploughing and ripping.
- Fodder harvesting i.e. Mowing, raking and baling
- Excavation of water harvesting structures such as Farm ponds
- Excavation of soil conservation structures i.e. Terraces
- Mechanized extension (equipment/machinery calibration, earth dam maintenance, plant
- Operator training, promotion of appropriate land management and conservation methods)
- Provide advisory to farmers on appropriate machinery and equipment suitable for various operations.
Makueni County Fruit Development and Marketing Authority
The Makueni fruit processing and marketing authority was established by an act of Makueni County Assembly in 2017 (Makueni County Fruit Development and Marketing Authority Act (amendment) 2017.
- Administering the management of fruit processing and its infrastructure at Kalamba township
- Promoting best practices in, and regulate the production, processing, marketing, grading, storage, collection, transportation and warehousing of fruit and fruit products
- Collecting and collating data, maintain a database on fruit products documents
- Determining the research priorities in fruit and fruit products and to advise generally on research thereof;
- Advising the County Government on fruit and fruit product dealing levies for purposes of planning, enhancing harmony and equity in the sector.
The Authority constitutes of both a Board for governance and a secretariat for the day to day operations. The Authority is currently oprating a fruit processing plant which has the following production lines.
The Government of Makueni County procured, installed, and commissioned the puree line in 2017 with a capacity to process 5000kg of mangoes per hour translating to 2500kgs of Puree and which has been in operation for the last 4 years.
Ready to Drink
Through a grant by the European Union Instruments for Devolution Advise and Support (EU-IDEAS) Project and added the Ready-to-Drink Juice Line which is under installation. The juice reconstitution line with a capacity to produce 4,500 bottles of juice per hour.
Water Packaging line
The Packaging line has a capacity of 8,000 bottles of juice/water per hour and is currently under installation.
Makueni Integrated Grain Value Addition Plant in Makindu
The department implemented the Makueni Grain Value Chain development Project which was funded by World bank through the Kenya Devolution Support Programme (KDSP) Level II grant with the objective of promoting value addition to pulses and improving incomes of small scale farmers. The plant was thus established to offer assurance of high quality, safe, clean pulses that are ready to cook and high quality convenient, reliable and affordable bulk processing services. The key functions of the plant include:
- Processing: Value addition to the pulses through drying, cleaning, destoning, sorting, polishing, grading, and packaging
- Marketing: Identify market segments on the focus pulses and deliver the value through organized distribution channels.