•Seed multiplication centre is the second largest in Africa
•County reached out to the state due to potatoes' importance to residents' livelihoods
A potato and vegetable processing plant will be built soon in Ol Kalou town.
The factory, a collaboration of the Department of Correctional Services and Nyandarua county government, will mitigate post-harvest losses which are a major challenge in potato production and marketing.
The department's Principal Secretary Zeinab Hussein said the project is a follow-up of the potato seed multiplication centre launched at the NYS Tumaini barracks by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i on February 15.
A total of 30 acres has been set aside for the plant and related infrastructure. Ten acres belong to the prisons department and the rest to Nyandarua county government.
Zeinab, who was inspecting the site on Wednesday, said: “As we launched the second largest potato seed multiplication centre in Africa, we realised we must then address the entire potato value chain by ensuring we have a processing centre to minimise the post-harvest losses."
Nyandarua Deputy Governor Cecilia Mbuthia said the county reached out to the national government for support because of the importance of potatoes as a source of livelihood for locals and the tuber's contribution to the national food security.
Mbuthia said the groundbreaking will be at the end of this month.
Nyandarua has this financial year allocated Sh382 million to the project.
(Edited by R. Wamochie)