Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui has urged farmers in various sectors to form cooperatives in a bid to better tap market opportunities and attract government supported investments.
Speaking at Kamara when he launched water projects worth Sh27 million in the area, Kinyanjui said that the government has avenues to assist farmers but lack of proper structures has delayed such processes.
“Most farmers in crop and dairy sectors are in production as individuals which makes it hard for them to tap maximum market potential. The government best assists farmers in organized groups,” said Kinyanjui.
The governor noted that the county government is expecting to receive milk cooling plants pledged by the national government.
Deputy President William Ruto who spoke in Molo last month assured the residents that the cooling plants will be delivered to the county before the end of the year.
Kinyanjui however said that the plants will only benbefit farmers if they are in organized groups adding that the plants cannot be given to individuals even if they have high production.
“The plants cannot be given out to private dairy farmers. As such the farmers have to come up with cooperatives that will maximum utilize the capacity of the cooling plants,” said Kinyanjui.
The governor said that the formation of cooperatives will go a long way in enabling farmers to negotiate for better prices for their supply and also pave way for the establishment of factories.
Groups of dairy farmers in Olenguruone and Subukia have already formed strong cooperatives which are in the process of completing packaging and storage plants.
Kinyanjui said that the county government will in the next financial year factor in grants to the cooperatives to enable them fast track the operationalization of the processing plants.
“Suka Cooperative in Subukia are in the process of setting up a packaging plant. Olenguruone Dairy Cooperative is setting up a storage plant. These shall be among the beneficiaries of the grants,” he said.
He added that the county department for Trade and Cooperatives shall embark on the process of educating farmers on how to form and run the cooperatives.
Following heavy losses incurred by potato farmers in Kuresoi and Molo areas, Kinyanjui said that the county government will also set up modern storage facility for the produce.
“Farmers have been forced to sell their potatoes at very low market prices. They are also being exploited by middlemen. As a quick intervention we shall construct cold rooms for potato storage in Kuresoi,” he said.
He called on investors to consider setting up a value addition plant for potatoes in the agricultural rich area adding that his administration was ready to provide the necessary support for such project.
PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui addressing residents of Kamara when he launched water projects worth Sh27 million in the area.