Irish potato farmers in Meru will soon utilise a 250- tonne cold storage facility whose construction is 90% complete. The facility being built at a cost of Sh100 million at Ngusishi in Buuri West is meant to help farmers cut on post-harvest losses as well as earn better prices for their produce.
The facility will help farmers to ward off middlemen who have over the years taken advantage of the highly perishable produce to deny them favourable prices. The cooling facility would hold produce for up to eight months until farmers obtained favourable prices.
This project being part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big four agenda on food security. Once a farmer brings their produce to the cold store, they will be given a voucher upon which they can access loans. Currently, farmers lose more than 30 per cent of their potatoes after harvest, farmers would utilise the facility through cooperatives which can also attract other partners to provide inputs, financial as well as extension services.
MSEA intends to facilitate value addition targeting various agricultural produce across the country.