”Kirinyaga County is the largest producer of tomato in the country with an estimated annual production capacity of 63,000 tons, fetching the farmers around Ksh 1.5 billion annually,” – Anne Waiguru, Governor.
Tomato traders displaced by the construction of the Kenol-Marua dual carriage have a reason to smile after an exclusive market was built for them by the Kirinyaga County government.
While opening the market at Makutano, Mwea constituency Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru said the facility will bring the long-awaited relief to farmers and traders.
She said Makutano Tomato Market becomes the largest tomato aggregation center for county farmers who sell their produce to retail and export traders.
Waiguru said Kirinyaga is the largest producer of tomato in the country with an estimated annual production capacity of 63,000 tons, fetching the farmers around Ksh. 1.5 billion annually.
Neighboring counties as well as Nairobi and Mombasa provide the largest market for the commodity.
During the official opening on Wednesday, Waiguru said that the market will accommodate about 500 tomato traders who have been selling by the roadside but have since been displaced by the ongoing expansion of the Kenol-Sagana-Marua dual carriage.
“The market will provide a conducive environment for our traders and shield them from harsh weather conditions such as sunshine and rain.
Their produce will also be protected from getting spoilt by mud during the rainy seasons, hence reducing post-harvest losses,” said the governor.
She noted that the market has modern social amenities such as toilets, car parks, proper storm water drainage as well as adequate lighting system that will lead to extension of transaction hours.
Waiguru said organic waste from the market would be collected by pig farmers to feed their animals.