• Executive says most products from the palm trees are sold in raw form to neighbouring countries at a lower price.
• She says it has led farmers to cut down their palm trees for timber.
Kilifi coconut farmers will benefit from a jaggery factory using palm wine as raw material.
Construction is to begin next year.
Agriculture executive Luciana Sanzua said on Tuesday that plans to put up the factory are in top gear.
“We have been in talks with several partners and we have received positive feedback," she said.
Sanzua said the coconut value chain has been neglected despite the region having many palm trees. Most products from the palm trees are sold in raw form to neighbouring countries at a lower price.
"This has led some farmers to cut down their trees for timber,” she said
Sanzua spoke while handing over conservation agriculture equipment to the county from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
She did not disclose the cost of the factory or the number of employees. Sanzua also did not discuss the daily output.
Already, other ountries like India produce jaggery, which is unrefined sugar extracted from evaporating palm wine.
The county is also setting up a cashew nut processing plant in Mtwapa.
Both factories, according to the CEC, will be constructed and run through Private-Public Partnerships.
The coconut value chain has over 100 products.
Areas that produce palm wine in plenty include Rabai, Kaloleni and Chonyi subcounties.
Edited by R.Wamochie