Machakos fruit factory to benefit farmers

Dubai-founded international fruits company, Joz Group, is set to launch its first factory in Machakos County in a bid to offer ready market to farmers who sell their produce at throw-away prices wherever the supply is higher than consumption.
Governor Alfred Mutua, who is on an official business-sourcing trip in the Middle East state, sealed the deal that will see the company break ground for its processing plant in Kenya in three month.
Joz groups process all types of fruits.
‘’My Government will galvanize our farmers and help in collecting fruits at decent prices and sending to the factory. We no longer want to see our mangoes and oranges rotting on the ground whereas they can be converted to money by our farmers,’’ said Mutua.
 READ ALSO: Supermarket supplier looking for farmers to buy fruits from  
This news comes at the time when the Eastern part of Kenya which produces a huge bulk of the country’s mango is grappling with market problems arising from lack of proper storage facilities.
According to Farm Africa, a non governmental body working with fruits farmers in Kitui, Mackakos and Makueni Counties, close to 40 per cent of the produce grown in Ukambani go to waste during the peak seasons due to lack of ready market, poor storage faculties and low market diversification knowledge amongst farmers.
 READ ALSO: Rare fruit fetches Sh2,300 per kilo in Kenya
The new facility is expected to be processing at least 20,000 tonnes per year, buying close to 60 per cent of fruits from the three counties while providing hundreds of job opportunities to locals. It is also expected to tame excessive exploitation by middle men who buy fruits from vulnerable farmers at very low prices.
Machakos County’s is enticing both local and foreign investors with incentives like land, a move that is expected to foster manufacturing economy in the region, upgrading locals both socially and economically.