The engines have roared to life. The long awaited Makueni Fruit Processing Plant is now a reality. Governor Kivutha Kibwana, Makueni Farmers representatives, and residents of Makueni have today unveiled the Makueni Fruit Processing Plant at Kalamba. The Plant has a capacity to process 5 metric tons of raw mangoes producing 3,000 liters of Puree (Mango concentrate) per hour. A liter of the concentrate fetches KES 150 at the market place.
Before devolution, the idea of establishing a fruit processing plant, in Makueni to help our fruit farmers to stem wastage and raise incomes was always dear and heavily borne in our hearts and minds. However, the power and opportunity to allocate public resources of the magnitude required to realize this remained a dream. Dreams not achieved turned into nightmares during the peak seasons when mango prices dipped to three shillings per piece.
This factory will provide opportunities for local farmers and investors to own a stake and grow wealth, learn new technologies and learn about value addition to increase farm incomes. Our farmers are the primary stakeholders of the plant. The Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries is now seized with enhancement of the quality of our fruits, control of the fruit fly and farmer education to ensure the fruits processed in the plant are compliant with European Union (EU) standards.