Kirinyaga County Aggregation and Industrial Park project gets multi-agency nod for groundbreaking

Kirinyaga County Aggregation and Industrial Parks (CAIPs) project has gotten a multi-agency nod for its groundbreaking. This is after officials from the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industries (MITI), National Treasury, the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI), and Council of Governors (CoG) gave a clean bill of health for the rollout.

The project sitting on 242-acre land at Sagana is set for launch by President William Ruto later this year. The officials who were on a site visit said they were satisfied with the County Government’s preparedness for the development of the industrial park.

Director of Industries in the State Department of Industrialization Joseph Mbeva, said the team is satisfied that Kirinyaga had met all the conditions for the start of the project.

“The aim of this visit is to engage officials from Kirinyaga county to check on preparedness and we agree on the implementation of the project,” Mbeva said.

He said aggregation and industrial parks are one of the most sustainable efforts by the national and county governments to shape Kenya’s economy by targeting specific inclusive economic activities.

Mbeva said with the industrial parks, counties are set to be the new frontiers of investment and economic development through increased national productivity and sustainable diversification of production.

“The preparation by the County Government of Kirinyaga is very impressive, we are satisfied they are ready for the rollout, we are here to engage with the County’s stakeholders on how we will walk together to realize the CAIPs project,” Mbeva added.

Through CAIPS, the government will support the establishment of industrial ventures through the construction of industrial parks, disbursement of research and development grants. In no time counties will be able to pioneer successful ventures spawning a new industrial ecosystem that supports the Bottom-Up-Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

Speaking separately, Governor Anne Waiguru has said that CAIPs are designed to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to engage in significant domestic and international trade through export diversification and value addition.

“This creates a great opportunity to grow jobs along the various value chains, raise incomes and close rural-urban inequality gaps as locals also participate in the global supply chain through value addition,” she said.

She said that some counties started getting ready for the establishment of industrial parks through initiatives such as constructing aggregation centres for agricultural produce as well as organizing farmers into groups or cooperatives for group marketing.

Waiguru said her administration has allocated KES 275 million in the next financial year budget for the development of the Sagana Industrial Park. This money will be complemented by another KES 250 million grant from the National Government.

The Council of Governors chair has indicated the readiness of the county farmers to be the main raw material producers for the agro-processors that will establish factories at the industrial park.

County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Cooperative Development, Trade, Marketing, Tourism, Industrialization and Enterprise Development Calbert Njeru said the aggregation and industrial parks will offer hope to the farmers who will now be able to aggregate their crops, access proper storage and processing facilities as they source for direct market to processors or exporters.

Njeru said the project will grow the economy and help create thousands of jobs for Kenyans.

“One of the major reasons for this project is to reduce post-harvest losses for the farmers. The project is also meant to trigger the development of manufacturing, reducing import of products and encouraging export, our people will get employment from the industries and our economy will grow,” said Njeru.

County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Finance and Economic Planning Jackline Njogu said the county has met all the minimum requirements set by the national government for the project and is ready to commence with works to develop the parks.

“For us here we are ready and the team has seen for itself and we are just waiting for the official launch of the start of the works,” she said.

Being predominantly an agricultural county, Waiguru’s administration has been supporting farmers to increase agricultural production and mobilizing them to form groups and cooperatives to enable group marketing. Her model involves enabling export that is facilitated by aggregation of produce by the farmers themselves.

As such, her administration has set up aggregation centres for produce such as tomatoes, avocados and bananas with the requisite amenities to support post-harvest management before being collected for processing. A fish aggregation centre is also coming up as the county that is the leading fishpond aquaculture producer readies itself for fish processing. Among the processing factories expected to be set up at the Sagana CAIP include avocado, macadamia, tomatoes, fish and dairy.

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