The horticulture sector in Kisii County has received a major boost with the establishment of an avocado processing plant. Turkish and Australian investors will invest Sh150 million in the processing plant to be located at the Kenya Industrial Estates in Kisii town. With a capacity to process 80 tonnes of avocado daily, the processing plant is expected to benefit Kisii and Nyamira farmers who currently sell their produce to middlemen at throw away prices.
Much of the avocado produced in the region goes to waste with middlemen buying one fruit at Sh5. The county targets to increase production to fulfill the factory capacity of 300 metric tonnes per day. Governor James Ongwae said his government had put in place mechanisms to increase production of avocado per unit area through funding of both individual and group nurseries with a target of one million seedlings a year.
The plant will focus on value addition to the avocado fruit earning farmers regular and reliable income besides creating jobs for local youth. It will produce juice, cooking oil and syrup extracts. “The launch of this processing plant is the first step of our journey to industrial development and investment for this county.
These investors have the technology that will process many products from avocado both for the local and export market,” said Ongwae. Sidney based Old Land Trade Company’s director Levent Alkan and his counterpart from Turkey Akhoon Majid said the plant will start operations in four months