Kentegra Ltd to begin construction of a multi-million pyrethrum processing factory
Written by Mercy Kihugu
Nakuru Governor H.E Susan Kihika this morning joined US Ambassador Meg Whitman during the official groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a multi-million pyrethrum processing factory by Kentegra Ltd in Malewa West Ward, Gilgil Sub-county.
She appreciated the efforts by Kentegra in promoting pyrethrum farming in the county noting the factory will be very significant in realizing the promise in her manifesto regarding value addition to maximize our agricultural potential as a county.
She appreciated the role of agro-industry as one of the supporters of a forward-looking
economy, moving away from raw material production to industrialization drawing more farmers to engage in pyrethrum farming due to the availability of a ready market for their produce.
Governor Kihika noted that her administration will continue to support pyrethrum farming to increase their income and alleviate them from poverty through a sustainable form of farming.
“The construction of the factory will be very significant in not only improving farmers’ livelihoods but also in employing hundreds of the youth in the county,” she said.
US Ambassador Meg Whitman in her speech lauded Governor Kihika for rallying at least 10 other governors in reigniting Kenya’s pyrethrum growth, which according to her will help relaunch the industry and have a generational impact on thousands of communities in Kenya.
“I am here today to reaffirm that commitment. We are breaking ground which will support roughly 90,000 smallholder farmers spread across the counties, that support means better livelihoods, greater economic prosperity,” said Whitman.
The US government through the US International Development Finance Corporation has committed $10 million to fund the construction of the facility.
“Our US Trade and Development Agency provided the contender with a $660,000 grant to fund the feasibility study to build the factory, I am focused on increasing the US – Kenya economic relationship,” she added.
Pyrethrum is grown in eight of 11 Sub Counties including Molo Kuresoi North, Kuresoi South, Njoro, Gilgil, Naivasha, Bahati, and Subukia.
The efforts by the administration in collaboration with other stakeholders have distributed more than 66 million seedlings to farmers since 2017, and
more than 7,056 farmers have benefitted.
Currently, Nakuru County has an average of 2,148 acres of land under pyrethrum farming and seeks to increase it to 30,000 acres of land under pyrethrum.
The Governor further noted that the construction of Nakuru County Aggregation and Industrial Park (CAIPS) at the Egerton Agro-City in Njoro will provide farmers with cold storage facilities to minimize post-
harvest losses, keep away predatory middlemen, and link farmers to value addition through agro-processing.
Additionally, she said the Naivasha Special Economic Zone and the KenGen Energy Park will add to the administration’s efforts to establish Nakuru as the County of Agro-Industry.
Also present were Elgeyo Marakwet Governor, Wisley Rotich, Chief Executive Officer, Kentegra Kenya, Brian McKenzie, Chairman Ron Magnus, Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara Nakuru County’s Chief of Staff Dr Peter Ketyenya, along with CECs John Kihagi (Lands), Leonard Bor (Agriculture), Stephen Kuria (Trade), and various MCAs.