Counties urged to invest in cottage industries

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Nakuru, Friday, April 20, 2018

County governments were today advised to invest in cottage industries to propel a manufacturing spirit in the country.

A local investor in the County, Simon Gachagua, who specializes in agro-processing said the country has the potential of becoming industrialized by the year 2030, if only the energy challenge was to be addressed adequately.

He regretted the high electricity prices and frequent power outages that were a huge discouragement to potential investors. He was speaking today during a workshop for agro-processing groups in the County.

He said the national government and counties need to enact laws that attract and guarantee investors of a stable operating environment.

He added that fiscal policies need to be streamlined, between national and county governments to prevent double taxation, which burdens investors with endless levies.

Gachagua urged the government to deal firmly with counterfeits that have infiltrated Jua kali industries. He gave an example of the popular mabati boxes, which had become the accepted school boxes, until cheaper and stylish ones were imported from China.

He said although agriculture was the backbone of the economy, the country was yet to reap full benefits from it, because the output stands at a meager 16 percent.

He added that with cottage industries, farmers would have the capacity of processing their products and earn a premium from them, instead of selling raw materials to the highest bidder.

He commended the government for including manufacturing and food security, among the big four agenda and anticipates more focus, and better policies in the areas.

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