The Makueni Fruit Processing Plant has commenced pulping of tomatoes. The plant has previously been producing mango puree only and nearly shutting operations when the fruit runs out of season.
“The Makueni Fruit Processing Plant has today commenced pulping of tomatoes. This will guarantee it’s continuous production even when mangoes run out of season. In a months’ time, we hope to start processing ready to drink juice from the plant as we seek to add value to much of the fruit produce in our county,” said Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana.
He was speaking when he hosted the European Union Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue to a tour of the processing plant on Wednesday where they witnessed the commencement of tomato pulping at the factory.
The envoy commended Makueni’s Agricultural Value Addition Programs and made a commitment to help Makueni secure the EU market for it’s products. “It gives me great pleasure to see how devolution is transforming the lives of Kenyans. The fruits Cooperative can now go to buyers directly, avoiding the low prices offered by middlemen,” said Mordue.
Governor Kibwana said his administration is investing more in value addition as a way of catalyzing the development of the rural economy. With tomatoes and the ready to drink juice production, the factory is expected to run continuously throughout the year, guaranteeing farmers a steady market and stable prices for their produce.