Mango farmers in Elgeyo-Marakwet County have a reason to smile after a Sh13 million processing plant built through a partnership between the devolved unit and the Japanese government opened its doors.

The project that is also supported by the AIC Cheptebo Rural Development Centre will process and dry over 400 mangoes in a single day, giving farmers time to seek local and international markets for their produce.

“This is a game-changer in this region since most farmers have had the challenges of middlemen and post-harvest losses,” noted AIC Cheptebo Rural Development Centre director Joel Kimaiyo.

He disclosed that they had partnered with a Nairobi-based company, Kenya Fruit Solutions Limited, which will be buying their value-added produce.

“The mangoes are peeled then dried for eight to nine hours before they are packaged for the market. There is a ready market for the produce, which prefers the apple variety,” added Kimaiyo.

The region produces about 25,000 tonnes of fruits every year and the establishment of the processing plant is expected to encourage more farmers to increase acreage under the fruit.

Elgeyo-Marakwet governor Alex Tolgos applauded the completion of the project, emphasising that the factory will be a benchmark to all potential business people both in private and public sectors in the region.

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