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Smugglers warned - Trans-Nzoia

10 July 2012, 16:17 Mwangi Karanja

Trans-Nzoia county commissioner Mrs.Charity Chepkonga has cautioned traders in the county to refrain from engaging in smuggling business.

Addressing members of cooperative societies in the county over the weekend during world cooperative day celebration at Kenyatta stadium in Kitale,Chepkonga said that the county is losing million of shillings through traders who smuggle coffee ,tea and other produce without permission from relevant authority.

“We must stop selling our produce to people who are not licensed because we will be denying our factories raw materials,”she urged.

He reiterated the Government support of ensuring the youth in the county are employed by setting up factories and making available funds through banks and other financial institution which will be given to entrepreneurs and community groups.

The commissioner thanked the Government for making available 1 billion that will be used to construct a Maize milling plant in the county,saying that it will boost the living standard of the people in North rift Region for it will be buying their maize at a favorable price.

Her sentiments were encored by the Trans-Nzoia west district agricultural officer Mr.Josephat Ling'ang'a who confirmed that the Government will soon build Tea and coffee factories in the county to enable farmers in the area to add value in their produce without ferrying them to factories in other counties.

Mr.Ling'ang'a said that the move comes after long cry from the residents on the issue that has cripple development in the area, as many people in area especially farmers around Mt.Elgon slope who depends fully on cash crops farming,and if smuggling of controlled farm produce like coffee continues, then the factories being build in the county and the region as whole, might lack raw materials.

“We want farmers to benefit from their hard-work,they will be determining the prices of their produce and this will push aside middle men who had owned the sector.The Government has heed their call and it is up to farmers to ensure that the factories receive enough raw materials throughout the year,”he implored.

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