The Coast Development Authority (CDA) plans to resuscitate the Galole Integrated Fruit Processing Plant which will significantly help mango farmers in Tana River County.
CDA managing director Mohamed Keinan said the government has set aside Sh145 million to revive the plant and to increase production capacity. The plans entail automating the plant and installing larger machines than the former ones.
“We are revamping not only production capacity but also the speed to achieve both quality and quantity for better revenues, “he said.
When production capacity is increased, the plant is expected to produce 12,000 tonnes of pulp annually compared to the previous 2,880 tonnes per year.
The project will help 30,000 mango farmers from Lamu, Tana River and Kilifi counties while at least 2,000 farmers will be trained on best agricultural practices. Additionally, nearly 80 residents will benefit from direct employment while 1,500 will benefit indirectly.
The plant, which was first established in 2014, closed down due to the manual machines which affected product quality and quantity and revenue. The closure of the plant was also a result of political interference and mismanagement.
The machines that were previously operating pulp and juice lines will be expanded to begin processing honey and pure drinking water.
However, the farmers told Keinan that their product will be more than the new capacity can handle hence the need to set up plants in Tana Delta and Tana North.