By Ricky Kibet
If the stalled Roret pineapple juice processing factory will be made into a reality, it will be one of its kinds in the region and a steady source of market and jobs to locals.
If the ramshackle structure could speak, it would tell you myriad defies it has suffered since it was started by former Bureti MP Franklin Bett under Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Undoubtedly, Bett had in mind a small edifice that would accommodate trivial machines but its deferral has elicited extensive and brilliant ideas from leaders who see a mega factory but have failed to defeat egotistic hearts and unite for its success.
Interview with several leaders reveals that, how to share praise of the factory has been a titanic impediment.
Yes, its idea was dazzling, but the initiator rushed to erect a substandard structure that can’t accommodate the expensive machines that were procured by the Deputy President through the push of good-willed leaders led by Lukas Kirui who is pushing for its completion.
Lucky enough with the efforts of the former Bureti Parliamentary aspirant (Kirui) who repeatedly informed the DP, the factory will soon get an injection of sh.70 million by the national government.
Unfortunately, during the tenure of former Bureti MP Leonard Sang, the factory made no visible progress.
In 2014, the then Agriculture Executive Member Charles Birech told press that the county had approved to take charge and complete the factory.
Birech was quoted by business daily saying “The project is now at the tendering stage. We have bought compressors, boilers and other machinery to be used” but sadly, Governor Chepkwony’s first term elapsed with no reason to smile.
The hawkers mainly at Ngoino road normally sell pineapples middlemen at a throwaway price of about sh. 20 totaling up to sh. 200 million a year but according to county government official, once the factory is operational, the earnings could go up to three times.
Wishing his people economic stability, the Deputy President has donated a machine to the factory worth sh. 60 million and recently promised to release sh. 70 million to ensure its completion.
Kirui now wants Kericho leaders to shelf division and support the efforts of the Deputy President by convening a quick meeting to end hindrances blocking its completion saying the over 1,900 hectares of land in the region produce pineapple but farmers sell at sh.5 to hawkers who sell at sh.20 hence making huge losses that should be put to an end.
Residents of Kericho County, for the past ten years, have been anticipating for Pineapple factory both for market to their crop and to create job openings for idling graduates who have kept their certificates in stores.