Plans to revive the cashew nut industry have gained steam after the government agreed to buy the once vibrant Kenya Cashew Nut Factory in Kilifi.

Good News To Cashew Nut Farmers As Govt Set To Revive Kenya Cashew Nut Factory In Kilifi

The factory collapsed in the 1990s after a bank auctioned it due to an unserviced loan. The factory and the land had been used as collateral.

On Thursday, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, led by agriculture and value chain adviser Augustine Cheruiyot, held a meeting with Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung’aro, Kilifi North MP Owen Baya and representatives from the Kilifi district cooperative.

They agreed to repossess the factory from Millennium Management Limited and establish the Kenya Industry and Entrepreneurship Project (KIEP).

Mung’aro said the county had secured land in Magarini for KIEP.

“We have fenced the area, but we will use that land for another project. The factory in Kilifi sits on 50 acres and there is more land that we can leverage on other projects apart from the cashew nuts,” the governor said.

Apart from buying new machines for the cashew nut factory, the government will also establish coconut, pineapple, watermelon and mango processing plants.

“This is something the President is very passionate about. He was waiting for the assurance from the county government that they are ready to revive the factory,” Cheruiyot said.

Kilifi county commissioner Josphat Biwott said the current owners of the factory are ready to sell.

“The factory also has a very big sports ground that the government can use to develop a stadium,” he said.

During the meeting, a seven-member task force was formed to come up with a clear roadmap of how the whole process will be carried out.

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The team was given seven days to complete its mandate and forward the report to the President.

Baya said the purchase of the factory is long overdue. He urged the task force to work around the clock to draft a strategy that would lift the economy of the region.

“The meeting resolved to pursue three things, replanting of cashew orchards, rehabilitation of the existing orchards to enhance production, buying back the Kilifi Cashew Nut Factory and opening it up for operations and all this within the framework of the cooperative movement,” he said.

In 2020, Baya petitioned the National Assembly for the revival of the factory.

In 2022, the National Assembly recommended the repossession of the factory by the government.

by ELIAS YAA

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