By YOANA KIMWELE
Mango farming in the Mwingi region has come of age, thanks to the introduction of solar technology in Kenya, particularly in the semi-arid area of Kitui County.
For many years farmers used to encounter and experience uncontrolled losses as their produce expired and rotted due to a lack of markets.
The establishment of the Mwingi horticultural Solar Mango processing plant has significantly improved horticultural farming and the introduction of a value chain that guarantees improved Quality of products.
The cooperative in Mwingi comprised of over 50 women and 10 men formed a community-Based Organization that ventured into mango value in addition to producing juice.
“Mango flakes have a high shelf life and better revenues,” said an official from USAID.
Kitui is more densely populated with mango trees than anywhere else in the country, but farmers can find it difficult to make a profit from the local mangoes, which are often small and of poor quality thanks to Development partners like USAID Kenya and other development partners.
Residents of Mwingi Central finally have something to be proud of Courtesy of USAID Kenya and the County Government of kitui.
The two partners jointly funded the establishment of the Mwingi Horticultural Famers community-based organization (CBO) which has close to seventy members drawn from the locals.
The solar dry Mango Processing plant which was started in 2017 has been of great help in terms of job creation, generating revenues for hundreds of locals who benefit directly and indirectly.
The plant has been processing Mango juice, Mango Flakes, and cow paw leaves through their solar dry Mango processing plant at Kiseveni, Kalisasi in the Mwingi Central sub-county.
Interestingly, dried mango flakes or any other products can stay up to two years according to Christine Musyoka, a supervisor of the Mango Dry processing plant who spoke to the TCD Digital team.
Over 1000 people are benefitting directly from the Mwingi Horticultural mango processing plant, Mrs Christine Musyoka an Officer revealed.
The director of Kitui County Special Program Madam Redempter. .. Said the County Government and the implementing partners will continue to support farmers in the establishment of a similar project in line with Governor Malombe’s Manifesto.
The project Chairman Mr Sammy Mwanthi. Thanked USAID Kenya and the County Government of kitui for supporting farmers and asked for more development partners from Kenya and abroad to help locals establish similar Community Projects.
The area Chief Mr. Titus Masila said the project has been of great help to the people because domestic violence and stumbles have dramatically reduced. After all, several people are busy working in the same plant.
The plant sits on one acreage of land atKalisasii, They provide Mango seeds to willing farmers, and they process Mango Juice, Mango flakes, among other products.
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