Trans-Nzoia signs deals to establish milling plants

Farmers will be allowed to buy shares in the firm.

Monday March 21 2016

Trans-Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba addresses the press during the commissioning of an agricultural machine in Kitale on February 17, 2016. Mr Khaemba said on March 20, 2016 that the county will set up a plant that will mill about two million bags of maize annually. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Trans-Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba addresses the press during the commissioning of an agricultural machine in Kitale on February 17, 2016. Mr Khaemba said on March 20, 2016 that the county will set up a plant that will mill about two million bags of maize annually. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By BARNABAS BII
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Trans-Nzoia administration has secured business deals with a group of investors from Asia to establish multi-million shilling agro-processing plants for value addition on cereals and dairy produce.

The pact was welcomed by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) during the county’s investment expo last week that attracted over 3,000 exhibitors from Africa, Europe and Asia.

The KNCCI national Vice Chairman and Director for Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZ) Laban Onditi on Sunday said some investors from Turkey are to set up Sh2 billion maize mills, animal feed production and corn oil extraction factories to boost agri-businesses in the region.

“The financiers will construct modern silos for proper storage of grains and guarantee farmers ready market for their maize produce at competitive rates through value addition,” said Mr Onditi. He did not disclose the companies.

Governor Patrick Khaemba said the regional government will partner with the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) to set up a plant that will mill about two million bags of maize annually and process animal feeds too.

“Feasibility studies have already been carried out to construct the plant for value addition and address lack of market for cereal produce,” said Mr Khaemba in his office in Kitale Town.

Farmers will be allowed to buy shares in the firm.

Trans-Nzoia, part of the country’s food basket belt, harvested 4.7 million bags of maize last year down from 5.3 million bags the previous season.

It is part of the eight countries that form the North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB), which have struck deals worth Sh100 billion with local and international investors willing to set up businesses in the region since its inception almost two months ago.

The devolved units are to benefit from agriculture, mining, tourism and sports from the investments and generate more revenue for delivery of quality services.

The bloc brings together counties of Uasin Gishu, Samburu, Baringo, Turkana, Nandi, West Pokot, Trans-Nzoia and Elgeyo-Marakwet.

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