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Meru to build potato factory, cold storage unit

Plan intended to curb post-harvest loses, end exploitation of farmers by brokers

In Summary

• Agriculture executive Carol Mutiga says brokers will no longer determine crop prices.

• County training farmers on new production and storage technologies and better marketing.

A potato farmer
LUCRATIVE: A potato farmer
Image: FILE

The Meru county government will build a potato factory and a cold storage facility to end post-harvest loses and boost production.

The government also wants to curb exploitation of potato farmers by brokers and cartels.

 Agriculture executive Carol Mutiga said brokers will no longer determine crop prices.

The officer said the government is working with farmers and other stakeholders to enforce the new potato regulations.

“We are particularly keen on implementing the 50kg rule to ensure unscrupulous brokers don’t continue exploiting farmers by continued use of the excessive packaging techniques famously called Mituuru,” Mutiga said.

The department is training farmers on new production and storage technologies and better marketing of the produce.

 

Mutiga spoke during a potato stakeholders forum that brought together farmers, marketers and agriculture officials.

"Potatoes are the second staple food in Meru. We will set up a factory to end farmers' outcry. We will also look into supply of certified seeds," she said.

Agriculture chief officer Dionisia M'Eruaki said Meru was ranked seventh in potato farming and the county hoped to double production. 

Christopher Marete, potato co-operative chairman, praised the initiative by the government to see value for money for potato farmers.