Photo 1 - Handover document signing by MESPT Chairman, Mr. Noah Meely (sited left) and MFC Society Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Baha (sited right). L-R: Looking on are CEC Trade, Tourism & Cooperative Development Hon. Nahida Athman, MESPT Staff Mrs. Zipporah Waweru, Kilifi County governor, H.E. Amerson Jeffer Kingi, MESPT Caretaker Committee Member Ms. Monica Asuna and Mr. Mogens Strunge. Photo 2 - MESPT Chairman, Mr. Noah Meely and MFC Society Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Baha exchanging the signed handover documents.
On 27th November 2020, the Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust (MESPT) handed over Malindi Natural Juice Processors (MNJP) back to the owners, - the Malindi Farmers’ Cooperative Society (MFC Society). The handover took place in Malindi at the factory which is in Kilifi County. The ceremony was graced by H.E the Governor of Kilifi County, Amarson Jeffa Kingi, County local leaders and MESPT Caretaker members led by the Chairman, Mr. Noah Meely.
The Malindi Natural Juice Processors Limited is a mango pulp factory established in 2011 by the Malindi Farmers’ Cooperative Society in partnership with MESPT. The factory was an initiative under a financing agreement between MESPT and MFC Society amounting to KES. 164 million between 2011 and 2020.
L-R: MESPT staff Asha Juma, MESPT Chairman, Mr. Noah Meely, MFC Society member, MESPT Caretaker Committee Member, Mrs. Irene Gathinji, MFC Society members, MESPT Caretaker Committee Member Mr. Mogens Strunge and another MFC Society member celebrating the handover.
MESPT supported the setting up of the factory and had been injecting working capital for its operations for 13 years. The Trust started supporting mango farmers in Kilifi county during the implementation of Business Sector Programme Support (BSPS) phase 2 in 2011 under the programme output ‘Natural Resource Management Programme’ (NRMP). Subsequently, farmers were supported through the Green Growth and Employment Programme (GGEP). One of the objectives of the 2 programmes was to handle post-harvest loss management.
During the factory handover, Mr. Charles Nyawade, Head of Finance & Admin at MESPT gave a background of MESPT and Malindi Farmers’ Cooperative Society partnership. “The MFC Society wrote a proposal to MESPT to support them minimize post-harvest losses and secure a reliable market. The setting up of MNJP factory in 2011 was therefore to handle challenges such as inadequate markets, low prices, and exploitation by middlemen in addition to post harvest loss management of the mangoes.” he said.
A step of faith & hurdles
L-R: Photo 1 - Kilifi County governor, H.E. Amerson Jeffer Kingi (sited) MESPT Chairman, Mr. Noah Meely (giving his speech during the handover. Photo 2 - H.E. Amerson Jeffer Kingi having a chat with MESPT Chairman, Mr. Noah Meely at MNJP Factory in Malindi.
Mr. Noah Meely, MESPT Chairman noted that MESPT has been instrumental in supporting small holder farmers who have been struggling to sell their mangoes after harvesting due to the perishable nature of the fruits. He noted that MFC Society partnership with MESPT since 2007 had realized great milestones and that farmers had been trained on good agricultural practices and linked to contractual markets. It was in 2011 that the partnership evolved into targeted support towards MNJP factory set up for semi-processing of packed and frozen mangoes and later mango pulp. Mr. Meely however revealed that despite all the technical support and financing from MESPT, MNJP factory had not been able to break even due to several market challenges.
“As MESPT, our work in this project is done and we are proud of the achievements so far which could not have been attained single handedly. Collaboration and partnership with key stakeholders have kept it going. We thank the Royal Danish Embassy through DANIDA for funding the realization of this factory. We wish to appreciate the County government for being part of the process.” He said.
Photo 1 - H.E. Amerson Jeffer Kingi giving his address. Photo 2 - MNJP Manager explaining the factory process to H.E. Amerson Jeffer Kingi
The Kilifi County Governor his excellency Amason Jeffa Kingi, in his address noted that he was impressed by the work done by MESPT at the Malindi Natural Juice Processors Limited. He was upbeat following the handing over ceremony and assured the MFC Society of the County’s support in realizing their dreams. “We applaud MESPT for writing off debts owed by MNJP factory and handing over their mango juice processing plant to be run by the Malindi Farmers’ Cooperative. This makes it possible for the County Government to extend a helping hand to the cooperative in value addition, agro-processing, credit advance and extension services, all with the aim of improving the farmers’ lot,” he concluded.
MESPT development agenda
MESPT works with rural farmers in Kenya to create enterprising solutions that are meant to impact them. We are keen on promoting agricultural productivity and food safety to increase farmers competitiveness in selected value chains leading to job creation and improvement of livelihoods. The Trust also has a green transformation approach whereby we promote adoption of resource and cost-efficient systems of production enabled by access to tailored credit facilities and non-financial services expected to further enhance resilience.
In Kilifi County, MESPT has been involved in the development of coconut, dairy, mango, and passion fruit value chains focusing on domestic, regional and export market access and financial linkage for over a decade.