Kiambu County Government is in the process of putting up a pineapple processing plant in Gatundu North to add value to the fruit which is grown in large quantities in the area and also create wealth and more jobs in the area.
This was revealed by Governor James Nyoro on Friday when he toured the area to inspect agricultural projects as part of the county's efforts towards food security.
While addressing Kanyoni residents in Mang'u Location, Nyoro said that, in the next 2 to 3 months, his administration will begin visibility studies and sourcing for money to construct the industry.
The governor added that Mang'u Progressive Co-operative Society had received money from the World Bank to start a milk processing plant that will benefit about 15,000 farmers in the area. He challenged other farmers and small traders such as the Jua Kali Artisans, Bodaboda operators, car wash operators to form saccos that will benefit from interest-free loans from banks in partnership with Kiambu County Government.
Nyoro promised the residents that the proposed Sh. 90 million Kamwamba Irrigation Scheme will go on as planned after all the teething issues had been resolved.
"When I assumed office, I found that most of these projects had so many irregularities and price inflation only meant to benefit a few people. After talking to the relevant departments, we agreed to cancel most of these tenders and redo them afresh, this time, following the laid down procedures. That is why I am calling for patience from Kiambu residents," he said.
He added that all these anomalies have now been corrected and the Sh. 1.8 billion World Bank projects under the Kenya Urban Support Programme were now on course across the six municipalities.
"I also want to tell the people of Kamwangi Location that we have agreed with the National Government that they must benefit from the water drawn from the new Karimenu Dam project," said Nyoro.
The projects, funded by NARIGP (National Agricultural Rural Inclusive Growth), National Government and County Government of Kiambu cover 5 sub-counties namely; Gatundu North, Gatundu South, Lari, Kikuyu and Limuru. They were guided by the respective zone's main farming activity, all geared towards food security and community empowerment.
Farmers in these area have been receiving training to ensure they adopted new farming ways that are sustainable. In addition to that, Sh. 50 million worth of fertilizer has been dispatched to farmers across the county.
Under the programme, the agricultural value chains in Gatundu North are mainly banana farming, dairy and Irish potato farming.
The locals are organised in CIGs (Common Interest Groups) to ensure the vulnerable and marginalised are also included.
Other projects include: fish ponds, dairy goat farming, farmers training on soil and water conservation and harvesting.