Members of Jitahidi Banana Cottage Processing Plant were overjoyed after Vihiga Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo donated to them a Banana Crisps Processing machine under the Agricultural Sector Development Support Program (ASDSP) domiciled in the Department of Agriculture on the 18th August 2021.
Speaking at Gamalenga in Tambua Ward, Hamisi Sub County where the group is located, Dr. Ottichilo urged other groups within the county to emulate Jitahidi who have been consistent, persistent and resilient in agribusiness.
“My government has created various self-employment opportunities and therefore I advise groups to come on board and access the funds for development purposes,” Stated the Governor.
While handing over the machine to the group, the County Boss averred that he is committed to promoting agribusiness as outlined in his manifesto. Acting County Agriculture Minister Alfred Indeche congratulated the group for their commitment in banana value addition, advocating for banana farming to increase supply.
On his part, the Chief Officer in charge of Agriculture Dominic Luvavo said that plans are underway to ensure Jitahidi Banana Cottage Processing plant is certified by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) to enable them sell their products both locally and internationally.
While appreciating the Governor for the support, Jitahidi Women Group leader Beatrice Kirundu promised to spearhead the 28-member team in ensuring that they maximize their output.
Apart from processing crisps, Jitahidi also makes cakes, jam, and herbal wine among other products from bananas. Earlier on, the Governor had officially opened Banana aggregation centres at Shamakhokho ward (Hamisi Sub County), Wodanga ward (Sabatia Sub County and Chango (Vihiga Sub County) to aid in collection, ripening and selling of bananas on behalf of farmers.
Accompanying the County CEO were Public Service Acting CECM Mary Amalemba, Chief Of Staff in the Governor’s Office James Otari, MCAs Douglas Beru (Shamakhokho), Vincent Atsiaya (Wodanga), Evans Chunguli (Central Maragoli), Manoah Mboku (Tambua), Peter Alukutsa (Luanda South) among other leaders.