•Pyrethrum sector collapsed in the 90s
•This was due to none payment and lack of market
Pyrethrum farmers will be some of the major beneficiaries under the US-Kenya trade partnership that seeks to increase the country’s agricultural production.
The deal will see more than 90,000 small-scale pyrethrum farmers contracted by US based company Kentegra Biotechnology Holding.
This emerged during the Nakuru County Investment Round Table meeting in Naivasha where 20 companies showed interest in investing in the county.
US Ambassador to the country Meg Whitman said the pyrethrum company is in the process of constructing a processing plant in Naivasha.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, she said that the company was in the process of signing contracts with farmers in pyrethrum growing regions in the country.
“Nakuru County is one of the beneficiaries with around 9,000 farmers set to be contracted and each will hire around nine workers to harvest,” she said.
Whitman lauded the county's commitment to agriculture saying the forgotten pyrethrum sector was a source of livelihood to many.
She said US investors had shown interest in various sectors adding that this would create job and revenue opportunities.
“Some investors are keen to invest in this county and in the next six months they shall move in targeting various sectors,” she said.
Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika said that the county would by the end of the year introduce single-permits for all investors and local traders.
She said high taxation, multiple licenses and permits and double taxation had turned out to be a disincentive to investors.
“Traders have in the past complained over the issue of licenses and the county assembly will address this matter before going for recess,” she said.
Kihika said the Naivasha Special Economic Zone would offer subsidised electricity to investors and that the park was currently enjoys water supply from the SGR station.
She decried the high losses that potato farmers in the country currently incur due to post-harvest losses, middlemen and lack of storage facilities.
“We have engaged an international company which will be buying directly from the farmers and offering them certified seeds so as to increase production,” she said.