On Friday 12th February 2021, the Taita Taveta County partnered with MESPT and its partners to support banana farmers and to develop the banana sub-sector for enhanced competitiveness in Taveta under the 5-year Danida Market Development Partnership (DMDP) Programme.
MESPT is implementing the “Spurring Job Creation in Kenya by Enhancing the Competitiveness of the Banana Sub Sector project” under DMDP. The programme emphasizes on partnerships that brings commercial and non-commercial actors together in a partnership to promote sustainable business, development and employment opportunities contributing to SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for Sustainable Development).
Photo 1: Taita Taveta County Governor H.E. Granton Sambonja signing the Memorundum of Understanding agreement with county Lawyer Mr. Bwire Okano looking on and MESPT CEO standing. Photo 2: MESPT CEO Mrs. Rebecca Amukhoye signing the agreement with the governor and county Lawyer Mr. Bwire Okano looking on.
The partnership agreement was signed by the Taita Taveta county governor H. E. Granton Sambonja and MESPT CEO Mrs. Rebecca Amukhoye. The other programme implementing partners are Wanda Agriculture Group - the local commercial partner and Orana AS - the international commercial partner.
Giving an overview of the partnership, the County Executive Committee Member CECM for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation Hon. Davis Mwangoma expressed optimism that full exploitation of the banana value chain could provide the local population with food security and better incomes that will boost their livelihoods. He reported that the proposed banana processing plant by the county is 85% complete with the department engaging in viable activities to ensure sustainability. He added that the partnership deal signed targets towards increasing production and ensuring availability of a market.
Taita Taveta County Governor H.E. Granton Sambonja addressing stakeholders in the meeting.
In his address, H. E. governor Granton Sambonja said that he is usually motivated by projects that seek to ensure the locals puts food on the table. “What pleases me about this union is that the small holder banana farmer at grassroots level will benefit. They will benefit from access to markets and value addition activities hence boost agricultural industrialization and innovations in the County”.
He assured his unrelenting support towards the success of the project which will see small holder farmers access a ready market. He further stated that the collaboration will help in sustaining the proposed County banana processing plant, a capital project between the County Government of Taita Taveta and the European Union (EU). “This ambitious initiative will birth improved jobs and opportunities. We believe that the factory will ensure social and environmental responsibility not forgetting economic sustainability “, he concluded.
MESPT CEO Mrs. Rebecca Amukhoye on the other hand noted that the DMDP programme will work with the county in a bid to create synergies, utilize resources and achieve desired objectives of the project. She applauded the collaboration and noted that the project will directly improve the livelihoods of farmers and those of value chain beneficiaries through value chain stimulation and market linkages.
Orana AS Director, Mr. Niels Østerbeg said that women and youth will be included more in the banana value chain industrialization process to enable inclusion when exploiting the horticultural crop.
Photo 1: Orana AS Director Mr. Niels Østerbeg giving his remarks. Photo 2: Wanda Agriculture Group Founder & Managing Director Ms. Marion Moon and Wanda Agriculture Project Manager Ms. Priscilla Nzalu following closely a presentation.
Further Project information
The DMDP project targets 2,000 small holder farmers and will roll out interventions geared to enhancing the competitiveness of the banana value chain and hence improved market access for the targeted farmers. Production capacities of small holder farmers and service providers will be developed, and vertical and horizontal linkages facilitated thereby sustainably creating value and business efficiencies. The project will deliver a socially and environmentally responsible fruit pulp processing factory with an estimated annual processing capacity of 40,000MT. Overall, the project targets to create 470 direct decent jobs and engage 1,200 service providers throughout the project cycle.