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February 01, 2012

Mango processing plant to open in Malindi, Kenya

A 75 million Kenya Shilling (1US$ = 84 KES) mango processing plant is set to open in February in a key cultivation region of the fruit, Malindi. The plant will crush 60 tonnes of raw mangoes every day. Another factory is also set to open in Hola, Tana Delta. With a combined capacity to process 90 tonnes of raw mangoes in a day, the new factories are expected to significantly improve farm gate prices paid to farmers.

Malindi and Tana Delta are the main producers of Ngowe mango, which is preferred for juice making.

Malindi alone produces over 70 per cent of the total production of the variety in the Coast province.

The new plant was set up by the Malindi Farmers Cooperative Society, which has been buying raw mangoes from its members for sale to the juice manufacturers. The project was funded by the Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust (MESPT) that receives support from Danida, a Danish funding institution. The project was built from last year on a Build Operate Transfer (BOT) arrangement and MESPT will transfer it to the co-operative once the capacity to run it is established.

The pulp can be stored for a long period of time and will also reduce the cost of transport associated with selling raw mangoes, which sometimes go bad before they even secure a market. Total wastage is estimated at 40 percent of the total collections.

In Malindi, there are over 12,000 mango farmers with an estimated 120,000 trees lying on 1,700 hectares of land, according to the results of a baseline survey on the crop carried out in 2009 by Institutional Development and Management Services (IDM), a research firm.

Since mango is a seasonal crop, an addition of equipment to the machines that were imported from Italy will create capacity for the factory to process passion, pineapples and water melon, Nyale said.

The new plant has increased the Coast province processing capacity to 260 tonnes of mango everyday. In addition to the two new factories, other major processors in the region include Allfruits EPZ limited in Mikindani, which process about 100 tonnes of mango everyday for export to Europe and Milly Fruit famous for Picana brand that is able to crush about 70 tonnes of mangoes per day.

more...Business Daily Africa

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