Business News

Curio hawkers claim harassment by county askaris

A curios display. Hawkers in Nakuru have complained of harassment by county askaris. [Photo/ stirredbyspirit.com]

Published on Friday, October 31, 2014 - 09:47

Hawkers targeting tourists in Nakuru town have decried harassment by county government askaris who they claim work for their rivals at a local tourist spot.

Some of the hawkers who talked to this writer at the famous Maasai market opposite said the askaris were being paid by the Nakuru Curio Sellers Association officials to drive them out of business. The hawkers claimed that they were constantly arrested and their goods confiscated even after paying taxes.

Ezekiel Muturi, a hawker alleges that last week, he lost goods worth Sh5,000 and spent a day at the county government cells after being arrested by the security officers. He blamed his ordeal on the curio sellers who the hawkers argue are scared of business competition.

“What wrong do we do by moving around here? We pay taxes and have a right to move within the town trying our luck. Our rivals are scared of competition and that is why they are colluding with the askaris to frustrate us,’’ said Muturi.

When contacted for comment, the Nakuru Curio Sellers Association Secretary General Isaac Kioko denied that his association was behind the hawkers woes. He however said that the market area belongs only to registered members of his association.

He said the Nakuru Tourism Board and the county government were aware of their exclusive dealership at the market hence the askaris were operating within the law.

In the past there have been complaints that hawkers harass tourists and block them from accessing the curio sellers’ stands.

Solar power boost for Kisumu on the way

Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma. He has assured that the county will benefit form solar energy. [Photo/ kisumunews.com]

Published on Friday, October 31, 2014 - 09:09

94 per cent of Kisumu County residents do not have access to electricity.

Governor Jack Ranguma who said this revealed that his government is working to provide alternative electricity power to the residents.

“We will set up a 40 megawatt solar power plant to plug energy gaps in the Kisumu county,” said the governor.

Ranguma said that the plant will be located in Muhoroni constituency and the project wil be commissioned in November. The plant is expected to produce additional power which will be added to the national grid.

“The high costs of electricity and constant blackouts that have affected business made it necessary to have this project,” he said.

The county government already has a land in place in the constituency for the construction of the solar power generation.

Ranguma said that once the project is completed, it will generate 72 Kilowatts per hour of electricity per year and will create employment for 200 skilled and unskilled workers during construction and more than 50 skilled workers during the operating time.

“The feasibility study on the costs of construction is underway. These will add to the other jobs created through value chains created by a stable supply of electricity to industries,” he said.

The plant will lower the cost of operating business in the region to increase industrialisation. 

Kisumu Asian community want role in local projects

An oblique view of a refurbished Kisumu sports ground. The city's Asian community wants to be involved in county development projects. [Photo/ kisumunews.com]

Published on Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 15:30

The Asian community in Kisumu wants the county government to recognise them in the county development agenda.

The community, comprising of the Hindus, Muslims and Arabs said there is no need for the government to outsource foreign investors while they have an opportunity to work with them.

Speaking in Kisumu on Tuesday during a consultative meeting with the assembly tourism and investment committee, business representatives of the Asian community said it would be prudent to have a hand in community development agenda.

They argued that they have invested a lot in the lakeside region and were interested in expanding their operations in the area given a chance.

Kisumu Hindu Chairman Guardip Singh said the business community was ready to discuss with the county government to share and support their plans.

“Why is the county government looking for more investors yet we are around? We only need a stabilised environment to proceed with the businesses that we have grown over the years,” said Singh.

The President of Aga Khan Council of Kisumu, Munira Gilani said they are ready to transform Kisumu into a 24-hour working economy.

He added that they are willing to achieve that with plans such as expanding and developing companies such as the United Millers, Kibos Sugar Company among several other business enterprises.

Asians own majority of the businesses in the lakeside region, with a stake of approximately 70 per cent of all major businesses in the region which employ thousands of local residents.

Kenyan-born UK mayor vows to encourage local investment

Elizabeth Kang’ethe, a Kenyan-born mayor in the United Kingdom. [Photo/ barkinganddagenhampost.co.ke]

Published on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 22:20

Kenyan-born UK mayor Elizabeth Kang’ethe has promised to use her position to encourage more Kenyans living in Britain to invest at home.

Speaking during an investors’ forum organised by Gakuyo real estate in Thika town on Tuesday,  Kang’ethe urged Kenyans living abroad to invest more in the country and initiate development projects that can help residents.

The mayor for Barking and Dagenham further lauded the steps made by local investors especially in real estate, saying the country has a great future in investment.

“When I look at what our Kenyan investors are doing in real estate, I can say it is flexible especially for us in the overseas. We can now invest home because we have reliable people that we can trust. East or west, home is best,” said Kang’ethe.

Speaking during the same occasion, Gakuyo Real Estate Chairman David Ngare noted that as investors, they now have an open way that Kenyans abroad can own property in Kenya.

“It is good for those in the diaspora to start investing home so that when they come back they will have invested already. We are standing here as their agents to ensure their acquisitions here are safe,” said Ngare.

Do not abandon farming, farmers urged

A construction site. Farmers have been urged not to abandon agricultural activities for the lucrative real estate sector as farming is still important for the economy. [Photo/ RandGroup.com]

Published on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 17:19

Residents of Nakuru County have been advised against abandoning agriculture for the real estate and housing business.

Prof Gilbert Kilombero from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute(KARI) said that most farmers are being lured into the housing business because of the hefty rewards that come with it.

Speaking at the Njoro KARI farm during a plant health clinic day, Prof. Kilombero said that most farmers in the county especial in Nakuru and Naivasha districts have abandoned farming and resorted to building rental houses and commercial properties on their farms

Prof kilombero said that as much as commercial development is needed farmers must not dessert farming saying that for economic development to be realized the county must also be food secure.

“The county cannot develop economically on a hungry stomach. If you take farming as a business then you can make as much money like the one you will make in the housing sector” said prof kilombero

“Most huge farms have been sold to private developers who are putting up commercial properties and this is dangerous because soon the county will not be able to feed its people” he added

He noted that nakuru county is one of the breadbaskets of the country and advised farmers to embrace modern farming methods as one way of enhancing production

Kisumu sugar firms to be revived - Ranguma

Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma. He says that the county is now ready to manage the sugar companies in the county. [Photo/ kisumunews.com]

Published on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 12:21

Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma has said they have asked the State to hand over local sugar factories to the county government to manage.

He said his government is keen to run Miwani, Chemelil and Muhoroni sugar factories in Kisumu and has urged the government to embark on supporting the establishment of the factories. The governor said that the move will help reduce unemployment in the county by creating more jobs for the youth and improving the economy of Kenya towards vision 2030.

“With the establishment of this factories, we will be able to create more jobs for the youth and reduce poverty in the county,” Ranguma said.

Speaking in Kisumu, Ranguma revealed that his government will receive Sh600 million more from the treasury after some allocation errors were rectified and that he believes the county is now ready to manage sugar firms in Kisumu.

Ranguma added that he has also approached his colleagues across the country with the view of reviving the collapsed cotton sector in the county and soon Kisumu will reclaim its glory.

“I have approached my colleagues and we are going to revive the collapsed cotton industry and soon Kisumu will be an industrialised county,” assured the governor.

He said the sector is capable of employing many people in addition to reviving the collapsed textile industries.

Traders call for faster completion of modern market

A well shaded market. Subukia traders are calling on the county government to hasten construction work of the new markets. [Photo/ orecmission2009.blogspot.com]

Published on Monday, October 27, 2014 - 15:28

Traders from Subukia want the county government of Nakuru to fast-track the construction of new markets in sub-counties.

Speaking at the Subukia Trading Centre this morning, the traders led by their chairman Stephen Kinyanjui said that the project which started early this year is taking much time than expected.

They said that business has gone down because many buyers stopped visiting the market as soon as the construction works started early this year.

“Not so many people are coming to the market because of the limited space and the construction works going on,” said Kinyanjui.

He added, “It has taken long than traders expected. We want the government to force the contractor to speed up the remaining work so that we can get back into the market,” he added.

Kinyanjui said that many traders as well as buyers are opting to go to markets in Nakuru town, something he says has greatly affected business in the area.

“We need to bring back business here and we want this modern market to be completed before the end of this year. Moving from here to Nakuru and back is an extra expense which can be avoided only if this market is in use,” he said.

The county government of Nakuru early this year embarked on an extensive project of constructing modern markets in every sub-county within the county as one way of spurring economic development.

From hustler to entrepreneur – barbed wire maker speaks

A former bodaboda operator is now manufacturing barbed wire. He says that he has employed 30 people in the venture. [Photo/ wikipedia.org]

Published on Monday, October 27, 2014 - 10:46

Many Kenyans have come to believe that without formal education, it is hard to make a living or become a productive society member.

This myth however is busted by one Stephen Njoroge from Munyaka, Eldoret town. Njoroge dropped out of nursery school due to poverty and has since never stepped in class again.

However, he is not the kind that gives up on life. He has come up with an ingenious way of keeping him going by inventing a barbed wire making machine.

"Before I started this job, I was a bodaboda rider where I was getting less than Sh300 a day," says Njoroge.

He adds: “I am doing well having started with only Sh7,000 capital. I am looking forward to securing a loan from Uwezo Fund so that I can expand my business.”

Njoroge says that he is doing well in comparison to when he was a bodaboda rider and he will do better with additional capital.

Though he says there are many challenges in his business, he urges young people to be innovative and look for opportunities as they are everywhere.

He says that more than 30 people now rely on his venture to make a living.

#POTD Kiambu: Wishing you success

Success cards on display in Thika Town. This is usually big business every exam season. [Photo/ AMaina/ Hivisasa.com]
 

Published on Saturday, October 25, 2014 - 07:00

The success card business is big every exam season. As a goodwill message to all students, we also wish you success.

Coca-Cola, Kisii County First Lady launch 5 by 20 initiative

Kisii County First Lady Elizabeth Ongwae (second right). [Photo/ Stephen Musomba]

Published on Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 20:40

Coca-Cola has partnered with the First Lady of Kisii County Mrs Elizabeth Ongwae in launching the 5 by 20 initiative.

The initiative launched on Thursday at Kisii Cultural Centre Hall is aimed at empowering 5 million women entrepreneurs by the year 2020.

Speaking during the partnership the First Lady said that it is important to embrace the initiative as it will help empower women in the county.

She added that the empowerment will be achieved through provision of business skills training, financial services, networking opportunities and other resources.

“The empowerment will be achieved through training aimed at impacting women with business skills, financial services, creating networking opportunities and other resources,” she said.

Mrs Ongwae pointed out that the initiative is aiming at equipping the women to start businesses, gain economic stability and improve the wellbeing of their families.

The First Lady also led the team in distributing Coca-Cola cooler boxes and crates of soda to over 315 women from all the 9 sub-counties in the Kisii County.

Kisii county to spend Ksh600M in setting up markets

Kisii county governor Hon James Ongwae (Center) in a past function [Photo/ Kisii County]

Published on Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 19:54

Kisii County government is set to spend Ksh600M in setting up Daraja Mbili market, the county governor has revealed.

James Ongwae said that tenders for the consultancy on preparation of architectural designs and bills of quantities have already been done.

“We are modernising the facility at a cost of Ksh600 million in partnerships with national government to enable smooth operations,” said Ongwae.

He said that the initial architectural designs by the defunct Municipal council cost a lot of money and they would not be discarded but be considered in the current preparation.

Ongwae further disclosed that in the current financial year, three markets at Ramasha, Nyakoe and Etago will be refurbished at a cost of Ksh 1 million each while Itibo and Marani markets are being constructed at a cost of Ksh8 million each.

Kenyans urged to embrace saving culture

Old Mutual CEO Peter Mwangi. He has advised Kenyans to embrace a savings and investment culture to avoid challenges in retirement. [Photo/dailymail.co.ke]

Published on Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 15:11

Old Mutual Chief Executive Officer Peter Mwangi has said that Kenyans spend more than 91 percent of their monthly earnings, leaving them with no savings for the future.

According to Mwangi, the trend is worrying and Kenyans need to be enlightened on the need to save, to be safe on retirement or on the unfortunate event of losing a gainful employment.

“There is a study that was recently done in East Africa nations which revealed that way too many East Africans, Kenyans included spend more than they earn on a monthly basis. We think that is not sustainable because on retirement these people will be totally unprepared for the challenges ahead,” said Mwangi.

Mwangi advised that the key to a peaceful retirement is for the people to be encouraged to save and invest when they are still young in their careers.

“Saving and investing culture has to be inculcated into our people so that they are able to avoid the challenges that come with retirement,” added the CEO.

He was speaking in Eldoret town on Tuesday during a financial training class organised by the insurance company.

MCA promises to support youths in business

Biashara Ward MCA Joe Mutuga. He has promised to work with the youths in business to improve their output. [Photo/ KGikundi/ Hivisasa.com]

Published on Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 14:33

Ruiru Biashara Ward MCA Joe Mutuga has promised to get involved in the operations of the youth in his ward as they are the pillar to development in the area.

Speaking during the launch of small and micro enterprises seminar at the Ruiru social hall, Mutuga said he is pleased by the contribution of the youth towards the growth of the county.

“I am pleased with a youth volunteering to facilitate the development of this county. I will support them in all their endeavours in the noble task of business as I am sure the youth are going to benefit,” he said.

He added: “We may be a small group but enough to make a big change. I pose a challenge to all the leaders who are in this area to come up with a strategy to help the youth as charity begins at home,” Mutuga added.

The MCA also confirmed the government’s involvement in the youth affairs saying that a  soccer tournament launched last week by one of the youth in the county was fully backed up by the county government.

Kisumu traders complain over high costs of power

Kenya Power workers working on a transmission. Kisumu businessmen have complained of frequent power outages. [Photo/  REA]

Published on Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 12:13

The Kisumu Chamber of Commerce and Kisumu County Business Coalition have complained of frequent and unabated blackouts every time an announcement on lower costs is made.

Ben Kitoto, executive secretary of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Kisumu chapter says that it is important to bring the costs of power down and ensure that power is available at all times.

“It will be of no use if the costs come down and we do not have power when we need it,” he said of the frequent power outages.

He said that the cost of power has been ‘the biggest challenge of any Kenyan businessman’. In a meeting with directors of the chamber on Tuesday, Kitoto said that the businesses should be cushioned from the high costs of production, including that of power.

Chairman of Kisumu County Business coalition Israel Agina said that Kenya’s finished goods could not compete with others in the market because of high costs of power that in turn adds to the shelf price.

“When the cost of energy goes down, consumers can be happy that they would get their favourite goods at a cheaper price,” he said.

However, Agina was quick to add that the coalition will only be happy with the reduction in the costs of power until they see their bills having come down.

“The only time we will be happy about the declaration is when we have those bills 30 per cent less,” he said.

Women group sets aside Sh2.5 million for water project

Water from a borehole. A women group is investing Sh2.5 million in a similar project at Kiamaina. [Photo/ TTCO]

Published on Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 10:41

 

A women’s group has set aside Sh2.5 million to initiate a water project in a Nakuru estate.

According to the chairlady of Kiamaina Progressive Self-help Group Selina Kimani, her group will embark on a borehole project that will help solve water shortage problems in the area.

Kimani said the borehole water will be piped to a major tank beore being piped to residents. She said the project aims at providing access to clean water for local small scale farmers to be used for irrigation during dry seasons and for domestic use.

She observed that the area lacks tapped water which forces residents in the semi-urban area on the boarders of Nakuru-East and Bahati Constituency to seek for water from local streams which endangers their heath.

She said: “This project has been a long term plan. We are now ready to implement it after seeking for funds from the Women Finance Bank and Women Enterprise Fund. We are hoping to serve more than one hundred families for development projects like irrigation and construction as well as domestic use.”

Kimani has urged local leaders including the area Member of Parliament Kimani Ngunjiri to support her group’s efforts to implement the project that will kick off in December and which will provide employment to the local youth and women.

The group was started in 2006 has 200 members who engage in table banking and small scale commercial farming and business projects.

 

Bodaboda operators launch sacco

Bodaboda operators. Those in Ikinu have launched a Sacco to empower themselves financially. [Photo/ voanews.com]

Published on Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 09:45

Bodaboda operators in Ikinu Location, Githunguri Constituency have launched a Sacco to benefit them.

Speaking at Ikinu Trading Centre after the launch of the Ikinu Bodaboda Sacco, the chairman, Boniface Mwangi said that the Sacco would be their financial vehicle that would help them access affordable loans and assist them when misfortunes strike.

“We have come together after realising the importance of a Sacco. The bodaboda business is fast expanding and there is need for our members to access loans to enable them expand their businesses,” said Mwangi.

He said that the Sacco would facilitate easy procedures in accessing loans.

Mwangi said that the industry has boosted development in the area as it is the conveniently affordable form of transport.

“Bodaboda business is fast and affordable and this makes it popular in the rural areas,” said the chairman.

Jesse Kariuki, the Sacco’s secretary urged the members to contribute generously towards the growth of the Sacco to enable it serve them effectively.

“The members should cultivate the habit of generating high levels of savings which will support the long–term investments,” said Kariuki.

He urged more motor cycle’s riders to join the Sacco to boost its core capital.

“With better fortunes, we will be able to create employment opportunities and alleviate poverty,” said Kariuki.

He also urged the operators to respect traffic rules to minimise road accidents which he said are on rise among the motor cycle riders.

At the same time, a suspected motorcycle thief was beaten by the operators for trying to steal a motorbike.

The suspect, Ken Njoroge, 26, was given a thorough beating before being taken to the Ikinu Chief’s Camp.

The suspect was stripped naked and frogmarched throughout Ikinu Trading Centre en-route to the police station.

Traders appeal for shades, lights

The Muthurwa market. Traders from Nahati are asking for shades to shelter them from the rain. [Photo/ businessdailyafrica.com]

Published on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 16:43

With the arrival of the short rains in most parts of the country, traders at the Maili Sita trading centre are appealing to their Member of Parliament and MCA to provide them with permanent shades.

Speaking at the market on Tuesday, the traders called on their Member of Parliament Kimani Ngunjiri and Bahati Ward MCA Peter Nderitu to help them acquire shades saying that it has become extremely hard to operate normally because of the increased rains.

“We are forced to close our businesses very early in the afternoon because of the rains. We cannot operate in this kind of environment,” said Jane njoroge, the markets chairlady.

She added: ‘We do not have shades to shelter in and this is affecting our business. We want to call on Ngunjiri and Nderitu to step in and help us.”

Njoroge said that even during the dry season traders find it difficult to operate under the hot sun and said that shade will be the only solution to their problems.

They also appealed to the county government to erect flood lights in the small market saying that they are forced to close business early due to darkness.

“If we get lights here, then we will be able to operate even up to ten but because of the darkness we are force to close as early as eight,” said another trader.

Investors decry losses caused by bad road

A bad road in nakuru county. A similar one is costing investors tens of thousands in Kisumu. [Photo/ OWaweru/ Hivisasa.com]

Published on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 13:32

A road linking the Nyando sugar belt, and also connects Kisumu city with its only company in Top 100 SMEs is in a deplorable state.

Mamboleo Block D road which links Kibos, the defunct Miwani, Chemelil and Muhoroni sugar companies and which falls under Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) was last serviced more than 10 years ago.

The road, users say, is only temporarily repaired in time for the annual agricultural show at the ASK Kisumu showground and then neglected. This repair, they add, only targets the section from its junction with Kisumu-Kakamega highway to where ASK road branches off.

Skylark Group which has been listed in the Top 100 SMEs since 2009 has its factory along the highway. The company says the road which connects Kisumu with Nairobi via the four sugar companies, Koru and Londiani would make business less costly.

Skylark founder, Vinod Patel said they suffer up to Sh40, 000 in losses monthly due to the poor state of the road which is lined with potholes.

He said the road was shoddily repaired 10 years ago and has since been in a sorry state. Their appeals to KeNHA, he further stated, were met with promises of imminent commencement of work but nothing has been done.

“All towns grow with businesses; if we want to see Kisumu develop into a business hub, then works on the road should kick off immediately,” he said.

Ndugu Transporters Limited, which has been filling the numerous pot holes with murram soil in a bid to keep it usable say it has taken a toll on the economy of the area which boasts of increased industries and real estate investment. The company transports sugarcane to the factories. It also supplies construction materials that are made at the area.

According the company’s transport manager, Mr Albert Atieno, the murram fillings have not been very effective, especially when it rains. He said they suffer losses in fuel costs and vehicle maintenance.

KENHA regional manager, Michael Ngala admitted to the poor state of the road but said it had been earmarked for reconstruction in a programme christened Annuity Financing Framework.

“We are away of the bad state of the road but it is one of the beneficiaries of an ongoing construction programme and will soon be reached,” he said.

Under this programme, 2,000 kilometres of small roads will be complete within the 2014/2015 financial year. It is flagship project initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Ngala dismissed claims that the reconstruction of the road had stopped at Koru, as claimed by a section of investors.

Githunguri Cooperative set to open a new depot in Arusha

The original headquarters of the Githunguri Dairy Sacco. The society has moved to open a new depot in Arusha in a bid to expand into the regional market. [Photo: Githunguri.co.ke]

Published on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 13:56

Githunguri Dairy Farmers’ Cooperative Society is set to open a depot in Arusha Tanzania as it seeks to extend its operation in the entire East Africa region.

The Cooperative which owns the Fresha brand of milk products was formed in 1961 by 31 dairy farmers keen to improve their dairying and marketing possibilities.

Currently, memberships of the co-operative stands at 17,000 members and its collection centers have expanded from one to 68.

Fresha milk is now the leading fresh milk brand in and around the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. Contributing to its dramatic growth has been its adherence to quality standards, a turnaround from previous milk production in the country.

“This growth has emanated from a proactive response to be successful in pursuit of significant growth in a rapidly changing economic, social and political environment,” said the Society manager.

He added that the Society’s future plan is to expand its processing capacity so that current members can increase their milk production and delivery to the society and also be able to admit new members from its milk catchment area.

The Society’s by-laws currently state that they cannot sell raw milk and therefore they cannot receive more than the processing capacity. This creates the necessity of increasing processing capacity.

With production at about 170,000 litres of milk a day, Githunguri is Kenya’s third biggest dairy operation which made the dairy to be named the best cooperative society in the country during the recent Nairobi Agricultural Trade fair.

In July 2004 the society commissioned its own milk processing plant and was able to access wide market through value addition and wide range of dairy products. The investment resulted from members contributing Sh1 for every kg of milk sold.

The cooperative had a turnover of sh6.3 billion this financial year from Sh5.4 billion in previous financial year.

 

Kisii County completes construction of Avocado factory

A buch of Avocado fruits. Kisii County will soon launch a factory to process the fruit that is abundant in the region to join Murang'a in the list of counties with such firms. [Photo:  bioaddict.ro]

Published on Monday, October 20, 2014 - 16:23

The long awaited Avocado processing plant in Kisii County could soon become a reality following the completion of the industry premises near Kenya Industrial Estates(KIE).
Oil Land Trade Company limited an avocado processing plant which kicked of early this year.
The project was initiated by the county government in partnership with a Turkish investor at a cost of Sh150 million.
The avocado factory is set to extract soap, shampoo, juice, pulp and oil for both local and foreign markets.
The factory which is located behind the Ouru superstores is yet to be relocated to the new building adjacent to the KIE site which is undergoing final touches will have the capacity of processing up to 80 tons of avocado daily.
Kisii region is well endowed with avocado that is underutilized. Most of it goes down to waste because of lack of post handling facilities like preservation cold rooms.
The setting up of an Avocado processing plant in Maragua District in Muranga County by investors from Holland is believed to have provided the challenge to Kisii County, internet source reveals.
According to Oil Land Trade Company Limited manager, Mr. Regan Aguko, few avocado farmers supply the raw material to the factory.
In response to the low supply of the avocados, the county director of Agriculture, Mr. Nathan Soire says that the factory management should draw a programme to collect the fruits at Ward level and on a specific duration which should be communicated to the farmers.
“Through community mobilization and sensitization, farmers are fully aware of the avocado factory, the investors should work out a programme to collect the fruits from the ground,” Soire said.
Aguko noted that he has travelled to all sub-counties in the County mobilizing the farmers to deliver fruits to the factory for processing.
“After feasibility study, we found out that Kisii County has the potential to produce lots of avocados but farmers’ response is still low,” Aguko says.
Currently, approximately15,000 metric tons of avocados are annually bought by middlemen from the area.
The county director of agriculture said his department has rolled out a programme of setting up avocado nurseries which they shall sell to the farmers at a subsidized price.
Soire stated that the investor prefers the Hass variety due to its higher oil content thus increased productivity of the final products but owing to its scarcity the farmers are allowed to bring the available varieties at the moment. The available species are Hass, Fuerte, Pinkerton and Ryan.
However Mr. Aguko revealed that the factory is still undergoing Testing of its machinery and serious operations are to kick off in a month’s time.
He says that the factory processes both raw and ripe avocados to produce oil which in turn is used to produce cosmetics as the final product.
Aguko said that the final product is only exported since there’s no ready market in the county. He adds that farmers benefit through the raw materials they bring to the industrial unit.
He explained that all the employees come from Kisii County and they are skilled though at the moment they are all in the sorting section till the factory is full set up.
He added that gender bias is not taken into account and they give ladies an upper hand since they do better than men when it comes to food issues.

Water equipment firm to treat Naivasha raw sewage

A water treatment plant. Residents in Naivasha town are set to benefit from a planned water treatment project by Davis and shirtliff in conjunction with the county government. [Photos/utilities-me.com]

Published on Monday, October 20, 2014 - 08:33

The raw sewage menace in Naivasha town and its environs could soon be a thing of the past, as a water treatment organisation has pledged to involve themselves in its cleaning.

Davis and Shirtliff, who opened their branch offices in the town on Thursday, cited that they would be targeting to treat raw sewer water, and turn it into clean water for consumption.
 

Speaking during the opening, the Managing Director of the Company David Gatende, said that they were ready to partner with the county government and other stakeholders to look into the water treatment plan.

“The most important aspect is to have a right analysis of the water after which we can be able to convert if for proper domestic and market use,” said Gatende.

He further added that they would also get involved in the wastewater treatment analysis, which would be beneficial to the residents.

“The water table is quite high and we seek to see ways that will prevent the contamination of the water in the county. We feel that a lot of this water should not go to waste as its doing,” he added

Gatende added that area residents would benefit from the presence of the company as they will not be forced to transport machinery to Nairobi for repairs.

Kenyatta: Cheap power to lower cost of goods

 A geothermal rig. President Uhuru Kenyatta says that geothermal power will lower the cost of production as electricity costs will go down. [Photo/ Njenga Hakeenah/ Hivisasa.com]

Published on Monday, October 20, 2014 - 08:08

The launching of the historical Olkaria IV Power Plant by President Uhuru Kenyatta will make it easier and cheaper for investors in the country.

Addressing the public soon after the commissioning, the president assured investors that the cheap power will make it easy to direct cash that they had been using to pay power bills to opening more businesses.

“The availability of cheaper power, of which we are targeting to give the public at US 2 cents per unit in the fuel cost, will see many youths open small scale businesses. As a government, we feel that investing in power, even the welder on the streets can be able to improve on his businesses and create more job opportunities,” he added.

The president hailed the project saying that every stage of the project was designed to make history. He cited that the country had already started feeling the effect of the generation of geothermal, saying that it had not experienced the normal shortages and power blackouts that it was used to.

“We have made it possible for Kenyans to get clean and green power generated locally. This is a great gift to Kenyans,” he added.

He appealed to the manufacturers to reduce the cost of their goods, saying that the availability of cheap power will enable them to produce them at a cheap rate.

“I already have confirmation that a bag of cement will immediately drop from Sh750 to Sh600. We hope that this can reduce the essential commodities too,” he added.

Deputy President William Ruto added that the provision of the cheap power was not a campaign tool used to win elections.

“We made this pledge to Kenyans and we intend to fulfil it. It was not a tool to win elections but a move to ensure that Kenyans got the life they deserved,” he added.

Aluminium factory investor faces opposition from residents

The proposed aluminium factory. Residents are opposed due to the waste management concerns. [Photo/ EMong'are/ Hivisasa.com]

Published on Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 18:10

An aluminium factory investor is facing opposition from the residents of Muthiga area in Magana town of Kiambu County.

According to the investor, Vikash Gudka, the residents say the factory- if built- will raise a myriad of health concerns that they say will have negative effects for generations to come.

The residents said that the factory will be dealing with heavy metals that could have serious health concerns and called on the proprietor of Menengai Mills to consider a different kind of investment for the area.

In a meeting arranged by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), residents expressed their concerns at the site where they also questioned how the proprietor managed to change the user from the predominantly agricultural environment to industrial.

According to the area Chief Ezekiel Gachoka, the residents objected the move after considering their environment and the population factors.

“There area is welcoming investors but what they are against is the kind of investment that will pollute this residential area as it is not clear how the emissions will be dealt with,” said Gachoka.

Gudka said some residents welcomed the move, saying the factory would create employment for the growing number of unemployed youth accusing the affluent of opposing the construction because they were well to do.

Kisii vegetable farmers to benefit solar conduction driers

A solar drier. Farmers from Kisii will benefit from such driers from India. [Photo/ ponga.com]

Published on Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 14:11

Kisii University under the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resource Development has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Science for Society NGO from Mumbai India.

The MOU that is expected to last for at least six months to one year is expected to take effect come next month.

Speaking to this writer, the Dean Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resource Development Dr Evans Basweti expressed confidence in the corporation saying that the MOU will greatly impact on transforming the region’s economy.

“Kisii is a rich farming region, with plenty of rain and good soil. We receive rain almost every season and farmers sometimes ripe high and sometimes rain also destroys our crops,” said Dr Basweti.

He added: “With this MOU, identified vegetable farming groups from both Kisii County and Nyamira will be supplied with the Solar Conduction Driers. The driers are going to help these groups in safer vegetable production, drying them to prolong shelf life for both future use and for commercial purposes.”

Kisii University will, therefore, receive 50 Solar Conduction Driers by next month and will be distributed to specific identified vegetable farming groups in the two counties. 30 Driers will be given to farmers in Kisii as the remaining 20 given to farmers in Nyamira.

“The county governments’ extension officers have already identified those groups that will benefit from our MOU with S4S and once the consignment is received, these groups will immediately be supplied to start the production,” the dean said.

Apart from the farmers, the MOU also offered internship opportunity to two faculty best students to India after graduation.

Curio business entrepreneur shines in jobless environment

Curio. A businessman is making good money from his business in Nakuru. [Photo/ noblegifts.co.za]

Published on Friday, October 17, 2014 - 15:00

James Njuguna, the proprietor of Nakuru Curio Limited has built a business empire that is worth to be emulated.

Speaking to this writer at his business premises which is opposite Huduma Center, along Kenyatta Avenue in Nakuru Town, Njuguna said that hard work has earned him reputation in his business.

“My business involves recycling bones and making them into curio products. No one thinks bones can be of such significant benefits,” he said.

He said that the business has made possible to create employment opportunity   to the youth   thereby narrowing the gap of unemployment.

Njuguna added, “A part from generating income from the business, I have permanently employed six youth who collect bones, three who market the products and four who make the products.”

He urged jobless youth to venture in informal sector to tap the ever growing opportunities.

“Business opportunities are plenty in the informal sector like welding, painting, carving and many more. The youth should involve themselves in these activities and stop depending on the government and politicians to feed them,” said Njuguna.

He said the business is doing well because of plenty of market.

“I sell the products which include necklaces and wrist bangles among others locally and internationally. I export my products to the USA and South Africa,” said Njuguna.

He however lamented over the harsh business environment in the county which is retarding the growth of informal sector.

“Taxes are many and unnecessary and these are eating into our profits,” said Njuguna.

He urged the county government to provide a more conducive environment to carry out businesses through relevant and necessary legislation and policies.

KDF officer injured by AP officers in Nakuru

The officer was allegedly attacked for refusing to give a bribe. He is recovering at the Forces Memorial hospital in Nairobi. [photo/ businessinsider.com]

Published on Friday, October 17, 2014 - 12:33

An army officer attached to the Lanet Barracks in Nakuru is nursing serious injuries at the forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi, after two Administration Police Officers in Nakuru beat him.

The two AP officers allegedly committed the crime on Monday after he reportedly refused to bribe them.

Speaking shortly before he was transferred to Nairobi for treatment, Shadrack Mureithi who had come from Amisom Peace Keeping in Somalia, said he suffered serious injuries on his hands, neck and head after the officers wrestled him down while handcuffed.

''I was accosted by the uniformed officers near Nakuru Railway Station where I had gone to collect cash from my pool table business. Immediately I entered my car to drive home, the two officers demanded a Sh1,000 bribe each. When I refused to give, it sparked a heated argument leading to the beating,” said Mureithi in pain.

He added, “I even introduced myself as a KDF officer but the two could hear none of that and even went ahead to threaten me that they would implicate me of illegally possessing a gun.

Mureithi is appealing to the Deputy Inspector General of police Samuel Arachi to ensure that the two officers are brought to book.

Photo of the day: Kisumu

This Maseno University student, identified as Charles, was attacked last night by people believed to be from within the campus at around 10pm last night.

Charles is a biomedical student at the university and he was taken to the university hospital before being referred to the New Nyanza Hospital due to the intensity of the injury he sustained. [Photo/ NWanjira]

Published on Friday, October 17, 2014 - 11:08

Photo of the day: Kisumu.

Maseno University student attacked by people believed to be from within the campus at around 10pm yesterday.

Farmers urged to rear indigenous chicken

Indigenous chicken. Farmers in Ikinu have been advised to rear such chicken due to the market demand. [Photo/ Homerange Kienyeji Kuku - Google+]

Published on Friday, October 17, 2014 - 10:29

Farmers of Kiaibabu Location, Ikinu Ward in Githunguri Constituency have been urged to embrace the rearing of indigenous birds to boost their income.

The county’s Livestock Production Officer Cyrus Mugo has said that the indigenous chicken perform well than the exotic ones.

“The adaptability of kienyeji breeds to varied conditions makes them suitable for farmers,” said Mugo.

Mugo was speaking on Thursday at Kiaibabu Trading Centre during a farmers’ day on the poultry husbandry.

He said that the indigenous chicken are easier to maintain under a free-range system.

Mugo added that the birds have high resistance to various poultry infections and urged farmers to increase their efforts in poultry production as the market for indigenous breeds was vibrant.

“With saturated market for exotic breeds, the market for indigenous chicken is gaining ground. Many customers prefer kienyeji meat because it is tastier,” Mugo added.

He urged the county government to allocate more funds to boost the livestock sub-sector.

Mentorship app targets Kenyan universities

The Maramentor booth. The application has successfully been launched in Nigeria and Tanzania. [Photo/ AMaina/ Hivisasa.com]

Published on Friday, October 17, 2014 - 08:41

University students in Kenya will now have mentors at the click of a button after the launch of Maramentor phone and computer application.

Mount Kenya university students have for the last two days been the target where the inventors camped at the institution explaining the application use.

Brian Mwaniki, the application’s team leader said that their main objective is to mentor the youth through what they see and like most.

“We are mentoring the youth through social media because we know it is the best for them now. The project has been successful in Nigeria and Tanzania. We are introducing it in Kenya starting with universities and polytechnics,” Mwaniki explained.

Mwaniki also revealed that there is an ongoing mentorship competition where a member who comes up with the best business idea will receive a prize of USD 1,000 to implement the idea. The prize is sponsored by Phil Bass, a United Kingdom national who has been described as an entrepreneur concerned with developing African youth.

Mwaniki called up the youth and especially those in this higher education institutions to take up the challenge.

The team heads to Kenyatta University, Ruiru campus today.

Improve feeder roads, investors tell counties

A feeder road in bad condition. Investors say such roads are the biggest turnoff to any major development being put up in the counties. [Photo/ algoso.org]

Published on Friday, October 17, 2014 - 06:59

Counties have been asked to improve more in feeder roads in what investors say will help boost development and tourism.

The roads are the biggest turnoff to any major development being put up in the counties, investors who want to set up structures in the counties have complained.

Speaking at a women investors’ forum in Kisumu on Thursday, the investors said that they were willing to invest in the counties but the lack of feeder roads had kept most of them away.

“As it is, it is very difficult to build anything of serious investment because the roads are really bad,” Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) board member Grace Akumu said.

She said that counties will only develop if the roads that connect investment zones and the cities are kept in good condition.

Akumu said the counties should zone out development areas so that investors can have choices.

“Investors need to know what the county governments are doing so that they can plan how to cooperate with the developers,” she said.

The chairperson of the Kenya county tourist executives Dr Rose Kisia said that the counties have seen high demand for high-end houses since devolution was rolled out in March 2013.

“High end houses development in Kisumu are now in high demand, and so is the situation in the other counties that are now setting up,” Kisia, who is also the Kisumu county trade and tourism executive, said.

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