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Govt to set up Maize milling plant in Transnzoia

09 July 2012, 13:43

The government is set to establish a maize milling company in Trans Nzoia County this year at a cost of one billion shillings. The move is a response to complaints by farmers in the region over middlemen who extort them by regulating market prices for their maize before transporting to other counties for processing.

Farmers had also expressed concern over transporting the commodity to Mombasa and Nairobi counties yet value addition could be done from the region. After a tight tussle on where to locate the plant among the counties in the north rift region where the government proposed, Trans Nzoia emerged best ousting Uasin Gishu, West Pokot and Nandi counties.

Speaking during the Cooperative celebrations day at Kenyatta Stadium in Kitale on Monday where he showed the company’s registration certificate to wananchi, Trans Nzoia West District Cooperatives Officer Mr. John Mutenyo advised residents to start buying shares.

‘You are advised to begin buying shares immediately so as to fully own the company and to have a greater say particularly in electing the steering committee and in imperative decision making,’ urged Mr. Mutenyo.

He disclosed the cost of individual membership registration for the North Rift Millers and Marketing Cooperative Union limited company (NRMMCU) as sh. 2,000 and a share contribution of Sh. 25,000. For societies, Mr. Mutenyo said the membership registration is Sh.10,000 while the share contribution was Sh. 50,000.

Noting that there was an improvement in the cooperative sector in the region, Mr. Mutenyo advised residents to diversify their production and register more societies to keep the track.

He applauded the sector’s turnover of Sh. 68 million recorded for last year and noted the Sh. 1.2 billion share capital for the same period as great improvement. Also speaking at the function, Trans-Nzoia County Commissioner Mrs. Charity Chepkonga cautioned against stealing of farm produce. She observed that theft of coffee and maize was high in the country and issued stern warning for those under her jurisdiction against indulging in the vice. Mrs. Chepkonga appreciated the move saying that the factory will boost the economy of the region by offering employment opportunities to locals.

Kenya Union of Societies and Cooperatives (KUSCO) chairman Robert Ouko thanked the government for enhancing cooperative societies in the diaspora.

Deaf pupils from a local school in the region also expressed their joy for the government’s move to establish a maize factory locally.

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