• The county is the fourth richest in natural resources that can be tapped to benefit the community.
• Past geological surveys have revealed that there are tons of precious minerals still unexploited in the region.
Taita Taveta county will capitalise on agriculture and mining to revamp the economy, create jobs and increase food production, Governor Andrew Mwadime has said.
He said the county is the fourth richest in natural resources that can be tapped to benefit the community.
Speaking on Wednesday while opening the third county assembly, Mwadime said the county is strategically positioned near the Port of Mombasa. The Mombasa-Nairobi highway and the standard gauge railway also passes through the county.
“The county has great potential for both crop production such as bananas, nuts, French beans and livestock rearing. This is owing to our ranches and the fact that we are a disease-free county for livestock production,” he said.
The county boss said the region has great potential for value-addition industries in the mining and agricultural sectors. They include cottage industries, such as leather processing.
Past geological surveys have revealed that tonnes of precious minerals lie unexploited in the region while residents languish in poverty.
Some of the minerals include gemstones like ruby, green garnet, rhode, tsavorites and tourmaline. Others are iron ore, manganese and limestone among others.
The industries, Mwadime said, are envisaged to spur other sectors of the economy such as infrastructure, housing and empowerment of micro, small and medium enterprises.
“With all our concerted efforts, Taita Taveta county should, in the next few years, serve as a beacon and trade hub that other counties will seek to benchmark in,” he said.
Mwadime said the government will put a special focus on subsidising farm input and the provision of extension services to farmers to boost agricultural productivity.
The Economic Survey of 2022 and other previous surveys, the governor said, have continually placed agriculture as the backbone of the economy and the main source of livelihood for most households and farmers.
He said the government will pursue the establishment of cold storage facilities to minimise wastage of farm produce and promote the use of innovation and technology in farming.
Mwadime also said his administration is committed to resuscitating cooperative societies, which act as a major catalyst in agroeconomy.
Farmers’ societies will help growers enjoy the gains of collective bargaining power and protection from exploitation.
“There is also wide exploitation by middlemen and agents on produce like milk, macadamia nuts, bananas, French beans, among others,” he said.
The devolved unit is also seeking to strengthen and promote domestic tourism to increase revenue collection.
The governor said the region has a lot of untapped tourism potential due to its geographical location and proximity to the expansive Tsavo East and West national parks.
“Taita Taveta is also home to Vuria Hill, the highest peak in the coastal region and closest to the highest peak in Africa Mt Kilimanjaro,” he said.
The county, Mwadime said, also has World War 1 historic sites.
He said the county government will be holding monthly service delivery meetings with a representation from the national government led by the county commissioner.
The monthly meetings will be chaired by Deputy Governor Christine Kilalo.
Edited by A.N