By Joy Macharia
Delegations from Machakos, Nyandarua and Elegeyo Marakwet Counties have been making endless and countless trips to Muranga for benchmarking lessons to learn a thing or two about Governor Mwangi Wa Iria’s flagship project; Muranga Creameries Cooperative and avocado project.
The cooperative which currently receives over 10000 liters of milk directly from farmers has become an attraction center of delegations with curious county government officials and farmers wanting to know the magic behind the establishment of such an enormous plant that has redefined dairy farming in the county.
Other than assuring dairy farmers that they will reap big from their milk produce, the plant has stabilized milk prices to Sh35 where members of the cooperative also receive milk bonus
Two years ago, a delegation led by a governor from Nigeria also visited the plant to learn how they can also set up a similar plant
Executive Governor of Plateau state Mr. Simon Lalong led the delegation with a specific agenda to learn on milk processing.
Nigeria, he observed, mainly relies on oil saying the country can borrow from Kenya on how to invest in agriculture and tourism.
“We have come to Kenya to learn and see how the country has managed to prosper in some sectors like agriculture and tourism among others. Despite Nigeria having established federal government long time ago, the country can also learn from Kenya on aspects of democracy,” added the governor who is chairman of northern Nigeria states governors’ forum.
He was escorted by Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony who also lauded the deviled unit for setting up the milk plant.
Members of County Asemblies of Machakos and Nyandarua counties also visited milk plant located in Maragua to learn from the county cooperatives department how they were able to overcome the hurdles to establish the plant.
Dominic Ndambuki, chairperson for Budget and Appropriations Committee from Machakos who led the delegation said his team learnt the importance of working together with the county executive for development.
“We have seen that for development to trickle down, we need co-existence between the executive and the assembly,” Ndambuki said.
Jonah Mutai, the officer in charge of crops in Moiben Sub-county of Uasin Gishu County also led a delegation to visit the milk plant and also the avocado cooperative where they learnt more on Agriculture projects initiated by Governor Mwangi Wa Iria.
The delegation received over 10000 avocado seedlings and thanked the county government for advising farmers to diversify their farming to increase their returns.
Mutai lauded Wa Iria for his gesture saying that avocado farming has been minimal in the county in past years but is slowly improving.
“Right now, we have about 200 hectares on avocado but mature trees are minimal,” he said, noting that the county government started emphasizing the need for farmers to plant the fruit trees in 2018 which has improved the acreage.
Mutai said that 70 percent of the all land in the county is under maize farming which disadvantages farmers when maize prices fall.
On Thursday a delegation from Elgeyo Marakwet visited the plant to learn on how they too can start such a project in their county.