Busia County Executive Committee Member for Trade, Co-operatives and industrialization Judith Maketso has lauded the management of Magombe Multipurpose co-operative for the job well done.
“Behind the floods in Budalangi there is something beautiful with potential that requires support from all the stakeholders,” she said.
Maketso said the county government will fund the society to enable it buy rice from farmers, re-package it before being sold in the supermarkets in the county.
“We cannot be growers yet we sell our rice to people from other counties at throw away prices who later repackage it and resell to us at exorbitant prices.
Maketso cautioned the management against funds misuse saying that money from the county government should be used to improve the livelihood of rice farmers and create job opportunities.
Chief Officer for Co-operatives Nelson Kwamini said the Governor supports the Magombe Society. ” We shall see to it that the county, investors and stakeholders benefit from the venture.’
Kwamini said during the 5th annual devolution conference in Kakamega, he learnt a lot from Kirinyaga and Kiambu counties where rice farmers showcased their success stories.
The society chairman Christopher Gunyi said 1,700 acres of land are under rice with one acre producing 25 bags per harvest.
He requested for a bigger machine to help shell the rice from the husks in larger quantity, adding that the husks can also be used for animal and fish feeds with a bag fetching Sh1,000.
Gunyi said due to lack of funds they have not been able to package the rice in 1, 2, 5, 10, 15, 50 Kgs, buy branding material and brand the product.
He said the main challenge is when the farmer wants cash for use and the society does not have. It forces the farmer to sell the rice at a throw away price after the hard work.
Gunyi thanked the county government for giving the 11 tractors for tilling but requested for more tractors and rippers for ease of their work, adding that they intend to expand the project under Lower Nzoia Project.