February 17th 2018

Top Stories / Counties

Pyrethrum sector revival picks speed in Nakuru County

During the swearing in of his new cabinet, Kinyanjui said that pyrethrum is one of the key sectors that his government will pay attention to as a way of steering industrial growth.

By Jackson Okataamboleokata@gmail.comWednesday, 22 Nov 2017 13:05 EAT

A pyrethrum plantation in Molo.

Revival of the Pyrethrum sector in the country has received a major boost following establishment of a mega 45 acres seed be in Molo, Nakuru County. The seed bed established by Kentagra biotechnology limited will be used to raise pyrethrum seedlings to be distributed to framers for free within Nakuru County.

According to Peter Mwaura, the chief technical officer at Kentegra Bio Technology Ltd, once the seedlings are distributed to farmers, they will translate to 4,500 acres of pyrethrum plantation.

He said that the seedbed located within Turi ward will by January 2018 be increased to 100 acres translating to 10,000 acres of pyrethrum plantation. Between 20,000 and 30,000 farmers are being targeted annually.

Kentegra Bio Technology is already establishing an extraction plant at EPZ Athi River. The factory has the capacity of processing 900,000 kilogrammes per month.

Mwaura pointed out that the company which is among others that joined the pyrethrum industry following liberalization by the government is working with county governments to return the “white gold” to Nakuru County.

As an incentive the company will be offering free seedlings and fertilizer after which it will purchase the pyrethrum flowers as per a signed agreement. The quality of seedlings given to farmers is set to be improved every three years.

Francis Githinji, a farmer, regretted that before liberalization farmer’s encountered problems ranging from delayed payment, lack of incentives and exploitation by players in the value chain.

He said that with the entry of various private companies in the sector, competition will facilitate prompt payment of farmers, high quality seedlings and more incentives to the farmers.

Mr Scott Sweat, the chief operating officer at Kentagra Bio Technology, thanked the government for liberalizing the pyrethrum industry adding that the future is bright for the sector. He said that with prompt payment, farmers are bound to increasing production.

Nakuru governor Lee Kinyanjui in his capacity as the chairman of the Pyrethrum producing companies has prioritized revamping of the pyrethrum sector through a multi sectoral approach.

During the swearing in ceremony of his new cabinet, Kinyanjui said that pyrethrum sector is one of the key sector that his government will pay attention to as a way of steering industrial growth.

The writer is contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Nakuru County

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