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Government to spend Ksh.1 Billion in the revival of the pyrethrum sub sector

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Agriculture, livestock and Fisheries Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya says the Government will spend Ksh.1 Billion in the revival of the pyrethrum sub sector to help buttress rural economies of 18 high potential Counties.

Speaking in Nakuru today, Munya said the money will be released to the Nakuru based Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya I two tranches to jumpstart the turnaround bid anticipated to scale up production of pyrethrin for the domestic and global markets.

He said the government will release Ksh.500 Million in the next two weeks to facilitate acquisition of seedlings for planting on 500 acres in Nakuru, West Pokot,Nyandarua and Meru Counties  in the anticipation of scaling up the crop cover  to 1,500 acres by April next year.

Part of the resuscitation plan is to upgrade the nearly obsolete processing plant at PPCK as an effort to expand the public company`s capacity to crush hundreds of tons of flowers expected to be delivered by day in months to come.

The CS said that grower apathy stemming from dwindling fortunes of the sub sector was an impediment to the revitalization bid saying part of the revival plan will be to mount sensitization campaigns among farmers in targeted areas to get them cultivate the cash crop.

Munya said the plan also seeks to bring on board private processors

He said the government had also finalized modalities of settling debts owed to the company owing to years of mismanagement and corruption.

Munya emphasized the need for deliberate partnership with licensed private pyrethrum processors as a way of fast tracking expansion of plantations for enough crop for processing and export of pyrethrin.

He said the private sector, as is defined in a the ministry`s pyrethrum development strategic plan,is expected to help establish 1,000 acres of pyrethrum .

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui welcomed the move saying revival of the subsector will boost Nakuru County`s economy that is largely supported by small holder farmers.

Governor Kinyanjui urged the George Kamau led task force on the revival of the Pyrethrum subsector to consult widely for practical solutions to problems ailing the lucrative sector.

Kinyanjui said the County Government  through its pyrethrum revival campaign is already reaching out to over 3,000 small holder farmers with deliberate advocacy messages for cultivation of the crop that he says has a potential to provide them sustainable livelihoods and gainful employment to more than 30,000 youth.

Nakuru County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Dr. Emmaculate Maina said the County`s directorate has allocated Ksh.60 Million for purchasing of seedlings for 1,000 farmers as a way of kick starting cultivation of the crop.

She said the idea is to develop 1,000 new acres of the crop.

On his part, the Vice chairman of the Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries committee at the Nakuru County Assembly Wilson Mwangi urged the Central and County Governments to help PPCK reposes its assets lost to corrupt cartels that crippled the company.

Among them are parcels of land meant for research and houses built by farmers in the 1970s to serve as a revenue stream for the company.

Mwangi said foreign investors were willing to inject milli

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