West Pokot County Government commissions ground-breaking Ksh 50 million mango processing plant Lomut.
the plant will have a capacity of processing over 20 tonnes a day.
Governor Prof Lonyangapuo says the county seeks to tap the massive potential the fruit processing has and need to save farmers from exploitation by middle men.
Lomut, Sigor and Chesogon areas in West pokot that borders Elgeyo –Marakwet are the biggest producers of the mango fruit and always the biggest supplier in the North rift.
Governor Lonyangapuo said that Lomut Mango Processing plant will be doing value addition and be able to sell processed juice to the outside market
he added that for decades the area farmers have been getting losses due to lack of market and as well poor road network that left their produce to rot in the farms.
The county government of Pokot county government has set aside fifty acres of land for demonstration purposes for farmers on how to grow and raise mango seedlings. Apple, Tommy and Ngoe are the types farmers are encouraged to grow.
West Pokot Women representative Lillian Tomitom who lauded the County Government for setting up the plant said that the farmers should aim to increase the acreage under the fruits to ensure the factory operates at optimum capacity, even off-season.
She said the factory will be a game changer in the region that has been infamous for cattle rustling.
Sigor MP Peter Lochakapong said that the losses farmers used to get is a thing of the past now and urged the area farmers to increase the growing of thee mango fruit and that the factory is timely since peace is experienced in the area and such should be extended to Turkana, Tiaty and Marakwet to plant the fruit.
County Director for Investment and cooperative Development William Ntoina said that the processing plant will turn the mangoes into concentrate juice and pastes and that farmers were experiencing post harvest losses.
The factory, with a capacity of processing over 20 tonnes of mangoes a day, will offer farmers the much-needed reprieve.