Makueni mango and fruit processing plant has received Sh120 million grant from the European Union, making the county the first to benefit from the EU’s Instrument for Devolution Advice and Support (IDEAS) program.
“The signature of the grant agreement with Makueni County marks an important milestone under the IDEAS programme, the European Union’s flagship programme to support devolution in Kenya. The Makueni Mango processing project will boost income of mango farmers, increase employment, and generate revenues for Makueni County.” noted Stefano A. Dejak, Ambassador of the European Union to Kenya
The specific objective for IDEAS is to support capacities in the responsible transfer and use of resources for the achievement of local economic development at county level. There has been an interactive process of learning-by- doing at both levels of government – at the Ministry of Devolution and Planning (MoDP) and the county levels.
Fifteen counties (Baringo, Kisii, Kisumu, Kwale, Laikipia, Makueni, Marsabit, Migori, Nyandarua, Samburu, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Uasin Gishu, Wajir and West Pokot) were invited to develop proposals of their choice and receive a grant of up to 1 Million Euros. The Counties were selected jointly by the Council of Governors and MoDP.
The Cabinet Secretary for Devolution, Eugene Wamalwa said: “I congratulate Makueni County for being the first county among the 15 counties to comply with the conditions for the IDEAS grants. The Ministry of Devolution has provided a technical assistance team to support in the development of Makueni’s Local Economic Development proposals. This team will continue working with all 15 counties to facilitate capacity building to the county technical team in project management.”
The Governor of Makueni County Prof Kivutha Kibwana said: “The total investment in Makueni County under the IDEAS programme is Ksh 142,194,956. The county contribution is Ksh 32,194,956. The Makueni County Fruit Processing plant is one of my flagship projects with an objective of reducing post-harvest losses and increasing market competitiveness for the local farmers.”