Meru County is set to focus more on processing and value addition for agricultural products to empower farmers.
The county where majority of residents depend on agriculture to earn a living mainly produces bananas, potatoes, avocado, macadamia, and miraa among others.
Governor Kiraitu Murungi while addressing farmers drawn from various corners of the county said his focus in the next five years if re-elected will be moving the level of agriculture into value addition.
To start with, the Governor pledged to set aside Sh500 million to support industrialisation and a further Sh500million for value addition in bananas, potatoes, macadamia, avocado, miraa, and all the value chains.
“I want to leave a mark in the county by ensuring that farmers have money in their pockets and be in a position to settle their bills as well as carrying out other development programmes in their families,” said Mr Kiraitu.
He directed the County cooperatives executive member to ensure the newly formed banana union has come up with a banana factory in the county.
The potato union, he said, will also be required to come up with their factory while avocado unions will be expected to come up with processing and storage facilities in the county.
“We will also champion value addition for miraa where we can come up with miraa juice, miraa whiskey, and miraa sweets which will fetch more money for the product after the establishment of a factory by the relevant union,” said Mr Kiraitu.
Meru County livestock union is set to be expanded to ensure all livestock farmers especially from arid areas of Tigania and Igembe regions are brought together.
He said the coming together of the farmers will ensure that they have done some processing by having an abattoir where cows will be slaughtered and sold as meat.
This, he added, will ease the burden of transporting livestock in lorries to Nairobi for slaughter as it happens at the moment.
“So, I want another meat factory that will be established in Ndumuru area and this will improve our livestock market,” he said adding that his desire was to turn the county into a modern industrialising society.