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THE TANA RIVER MANGO FACTORY MAY TURN TO A RUIN

 

I was among the first people to congratulate his Excellency Major (rtd) Dhadho Godhana, governor Tana River County when he announced the revival of Tana River Mango processing plant at Boji, and when he formally invited the Trade cabinet secretary Honorable Munya.

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Middlemen and brokers have been ripping off what was not supposed to theirs, they buy mango fruits from the farmers at two (2) Kenya shillings per mango, and then sell the same mango at twenty (20) shillings in Mombasa and at forty (40) shillings in Nairobi. They are making abnormal profits at the expense of our Tana farmers.

When the project is completed, our farmers will be able to sell their products direct to the factory doing away with these middlemen and brokers hence ripping big from their own products. Also, it will be the governor redeemer after sharing photos of Ufa Juice parked in a bottle labeled Tana River Mango Juice yet the factory was not functioning during that time when he attended the devolution conference 2018.

It is so sad that the previous regime of Hon Hussein Dado was interested in the reviving the factory which by now Makueni County would be benchmarking in Tana for their Mango Processing plant, but now is the opposite; I think they had the mentality that it was to benefit the pokomos which was wrong. The factory will benefit everyone, direct or indirect.

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As we pen our appreciation and congratulations to our able governor for this great initiative which will permanently change our country we must be careful or else the factory will collapse, I still fail to understand why our MCAs go to Israel for benchmarking and yet they fail to come with ideas to change our beloved county, but I know our number one reader and fan of Pokomo Magazine will put into consideration what is highlighted here.

On our farms we still have same mango trees which were planted by our great great great grandfathers during the colonial period, its are known, the older the tree the lesser productive it is, now think of this we continue depending on the same trees for the next ten (10) or more years, what will happen to our factory? Meaning there will be a reduction of output production each season, meaning each year employees of the factory will be reduced and finally the factory will collapse. Do we really want to take that direction? Of cause a big NO, we want, and also the governor wants to create employment.

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The governor should think of this, Mathenge is chocking our land there was even a plan to eradicate the plant, but the idea is only viable if is replaced with another plant and the perfect replacement is mango trees. The governor should start this initiative as soon as possible.

Also, we have been using the same method of caring the mango tree, you just let the plant grow wait to harvest, if the plant is taken good care believe me, you farmers would produce even three times of what they are producing now and high class (class A) products, we are not pruned our mango trees, we don’t use pest sides and fertilizer in mango production.

The solution to this the governor should employ enough qualified (agronomists) agricultural extension officers, I know they are available in our county (he may even contact the writer he knows about fifteen (15) of them). They should start with creating nurseries for mango plant seedlings, distribute the seedlings to farmers, educate the farmers on mango production (on the use of fertilizer, on disease and pest control, record keeping), to do pruning because it should be done with a lot of care or the plant may die, teach farmers grafting technique, etc and we will see the project sustaining more 50 years to come.