Lalong signs MoU with Kenya govt to establish tea processing factory in Plateau
Plateau state government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Keticho County in Kenya to establish a tea processing factory in Plateau state.
The memorandum of understanding was signed on behalf of the two governments by Prof. Danladi Atu, Secretary to Government of Plateau state and Joes Bett, County Secretary of Kericho in Kenya and witnessed by the two governors.
According to a statement signed by the Director of Press and Public Affairs to Governor Simon Bako Lalong, Dr Makut Simon Machan, Governor Lalong had taken a tour of the Ketepa Tea Processing and Packaging Company which is the largest tea farming company in Kenya that is driven by farmer cooperative society.
The statement pointed out that the governor was taken round the company by the Managing Director, Albert Otochi, who explained that the company was founded by small scale farmers who are the major shareholders and determine its day to day running through the board of directors.
He was told that through the cooperative society, the farmers are encouraged to cultivate tea and coffee which is then bought off them by the company and processed thereby creating employment for the host communities and boosting their economy.
Governor Lalong said the initiative was to consolidate on the gains of his visit Kenya, particularly Kericho County, which shares a lot of similarities in weather, topography and agricultural endowments with Plateau state.
“We have other products that can benefit from the processing factory which can result in what could be Plateau Tea that will make inroads into the Nigerian market,” he said.
The governor also discussed the possibility of training long-distance runners in Kericho which has been the base of Kenya’s athletics strength over the years.
According to the statement: “Lalong also visited a private dairy farm where he was taken around the production line by the chairman of the Farm Gen. John Koech (Rtd) who expressed willingness to share experiences with Plateau state and indeed other Northern states in modern way of cattle rearing which is not only profitable, but a new way of maintaining communal harmony and better utilisation of scarce land resources.
The chairman of the Northern Governors Forum was later hosted to a warm reception at the office of the governor of Kericho County where members of the County Legislature and the Executive were in attendance.