Groundnut farmers are expected to double their income after commissioning of 19 peanut processing equipment. The farmers got the equipment through Homa Bay County Peanut Co-operative Society, donated by Agricultural Productivity and Agribusiness Project (Kapap) to scale up peanuts production in the county. Speaking after commissioning the equipment in Ndhiwa town, Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata said the equipment will cushion the farmers from losses incurred due to involvement of the middle-men. Mr Orata expressed concern that many peanut farmers in the county were selling their groundnut in raw form, a situation that had denied them more profit.
“Lack of value addition has been the greatest challenge affecting our farmers. We are going to support this project to ensure the farmers reap hugely out of what they produce,” said Orata. He said the county government was also planning to build more industries for agricultural produce. “One of the key aspects we have prioritised in our County Integrated Development Plan is value addition. We cannot watch as hard working farmers continue incurring losses because of middle-men,” Orata added. Kapap county coordinator Martin Odengi said the equipment, which includes peanut sheller, a roaster and peanut milling machine will be used to produce various products from peanut in area. It will be set up at a location in Ndhiwa town once suitable land is found. “Installation of the machines is complete and will be operational from as early as today,” Odengi said.
Agriculture Executive Tom Ogada urged more farmers to venture into groundnut production to keep the equipment active. “We are already putting modalities in place to ensure people support the project. This will help us deal with food security and nutrition,” said Ogada.