Garissa fruit factory to provide ready market

Garissa governor Ali Korane enjoys a watermelon from Qolothey farm yesterday / STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Garissa governor Ali Korane enjoys a watermelon from Qolothey farm yesterday / STEPHEN ASTARIKO

The Garissa government will construct a fruit processing factory to improve food security and provide a market.

Governor Ali Korane yesterday told farmers a feasability study shows the factory is viable.

He said lack of markets for produce is a major problem for farmers. “The fruit processing factory will soon end your marketing woes, increase your household income and reduce food insecurity,” Korane said.

He spoke to farmers in Qolothey Farm and Maramtu 2 Farm, where he assessed county road projects and the impact of the recent Tana River flash floods.

He said bush clearing, constructing of access roads and marketing will increase productivity.

“I thank farmers for their resilience, hard work and the commitment they have demonstrated despite challenges posed by the floods, drought and other drivers of poverty,” Korane said.

The governor said the agriculture department has bought 10 water pump generators for farmers who lost their irrigating equipment to floods. They will be allocated to vulnerable groups.

The Kulmis farmers are beneficiaries of access road and water pumps. Farm chairman Mahadabo Garasow, welcomed the governor’s help.

Korane was accompanied by Agriculture executive Issa Yarrow.

Last week, a National Assembly team urged the state to compensate residents affected by the April-May floods in Garissa and Tana River counties.

The National Assembly Committee on Energy says it will recommend compensation in its final report to the House, based on its findings on the ground. Committee vice chairperson Robert Pukose urged MPs to adopt the report, saying the suffering residents went through is evident and justifies a payout.

Pukose said the committee will request funds to buy equipment for farmers who had taken loans for pumps and have not been able to make payments.

He urged Kengen to construct additional reservoirs along the river and raise the height of Masinga Dam to increase capacity and reduce the volumes that flow downstream and flood during the rains.