Kirinyaga County to support tomato farmers in readiness for the Sagana Agro-Industrial City
The County Government of Kirinyaga is supporting tomato farmers to increase production in readiness for the upcoming Sagana Agro-Industrial City that will incorporate a tomato processing factory.
To scale up production, the county government has supported 69 community groups in the construction of tomato greenhouses and propagation of high-yielding disease-tolerant varieties as well as capacity building along the tomato value chain.
Kirinyaga produces about 60,000 tons of tomatoes earning farmers around Sh1.6 billion annually. Through Wezesha Program more than 2,000 farmers have been supported to plant an additional 1.1 million seedlings and increase land under tomatoes to an extra 122 acres. This has increased production by an extra 11,000 tons.
Governor Anne Waiguru has said that the county farmers will be the major beneficiaries of the upcoming agro-industrial city since they will have a ready market for their produce.
Additionally, they will be cushioned against post-harvest losses and reap more from the value addition of their crop.
Through Tomato Growers Cooperative Societies, farmers will be able to aggregate and negotiate for a better market for their produce and get training so that they are part of the supply chain of the Tomato Processing Factory.
Already, the county government has constructed an exclusive tomato aggregation center at Makutano from where buyers will be collecting the tomatoes in bulk.
Governor Waiguru has said that through Wezesha Kirinyaga, her administration is committed to making agricultural activities in the county translate to more money into the farmer’s pockets hence improved livelihoods.
Credit: SHARON MAOMBO