KENYA – The coastal county of Kenya, Kwale has broken ground for the construction of the second phase of the sh.600 million (US$5.6m) fruit processing plant in Shimba Hills.

According to reports by Kenyan News Agency, the construction of the fruit-processing plant started last year and will proceed in phases until completion next year.

The Governor of Kwale County, Salim Mvurya assured the people of Kwale that his administration is committed to accomplish all flagship projects aimed at uplifting the livelihoods of residents.

He further urged farmers from Kubo South ward and nearby areas to cultivate more fruit producing plants, saying that soon the fruit-processing plant project under implementation will be ready to start operations.

“Soon this project will be completed and it will require fruits from nearby farms for it to operate fully. I therefore urge you to start cultivating fruit producing plants now so that you benefit once the project is operational,” he said.

Earlier in the year, Makueni County in Eastern Kenya entered the ready to drink juice market after the arrival of the second fruit juice processing line at the Makueni Fruit Processing factory in Kalamba town.

The new line has the capacity to produce 8,000 litres per hour and refine ready to drink juice.

This is an addition to the already existing line processing 5 metric tons of raw mangoes producing 3,000 liters of Puree (Mango concentrate) per hour which when diluted will be used to make read to drink juice.

The Makueni Fruit processing factory was established by the County government in 2017 to stem wastage and raise incomes for fruit farmers in the county which has so far benefited over 12,000 families.

In a bid to increase agricultural productivity and profitability, the Easter county has recently received a grant of Ksh.98.4m (US$919,000) from World Bank through the National Agricultural and Rural Inclusive Growth Project (NARIGP) to benefit a total of 7,565 individual farmers.

The funding targets promotion of Poultry, Mango, Tomato and Green gram value chains. It also targets sustainable Land Management in hilly areas and cushioning of vulnerable and marginalized groups from economic hardships.

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