Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong has given a nod for the establishment of a modern agricultural industrial park in the county to commercialize the farming and processing of cassava and other crops in Western Kenya and Eastern Uganda.
The Governor gave the green light on Tuesday when he met a consortium of Chinese investors led by regional chairman William Zhou; they are ready to pump in Sh30bn in the first phase and Sh200bn in the second phase, to establish the facility at 341 hectares (843 acres) Nasewa Farm in Matayos Sub County.
The facility will have the capacity to process 2,000 tonnes of raw cassava per day, adding that it will also provide reliable market for growers in addition to creating employment opportunities for the youth.
The consortium will be seeking the development of 250,000 acres under cassava in Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega counties and Eastern Uganda. Initially, the company will be buying fresh cassava, drying it and transporting the consignment of dry cassava chips to China.
The consortium has secured an initial market of one million metric tonnes of dry cassava chips per annum with a projected increase five per cent annually,”said Omkiya Omtatah, a human rights activist
He added that the project is ready to start any time soon after getting the approvals from various government ministries, noting that high yielding cassava variety will be availed to farmers.
H.E Ojaamong lauded human ights activist Okiya Omtatah for having the land revert to the Government, adding that it will be co-owned by the County Government, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture.
“The establishment of the Industrial Park at the Nasewa Nucleus Estate will be in line with two of the Big Four Agenda of manufacturing and food security; it will also create employment for unemployed youths in the county,” he said.
Omtatah said the industrial park will comprise of nucleus and out grower cassava production farms and factories to produce dry cassava, chips, cassava flour, cassava starch, animal feeds, ethanol, organic fertilizer and paper pulp in the second phase.