Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru On Wednesday commissioned a modern tomato market in Makutano town to spur economic growth.
She asked the traders to start using market saying it is equipped with adequate facilities.
Governor Waiguru said the market is a relief to about 500 who were selling their goods by the roadside but were displaced by the expansion of the Kenol-Sagana-Marua dual carriageway.
“The market will provide a conducive environment for our traders and shield them from harsh weather conditions such as sunshine and rain. Their produce will also be protected from getting spoilt by mud during the rainy seasons, hence reducing post-harvest losses,” Ms Waiguru said.
The Council of Governors chairperson said the market has modern toilets, adequate water supply as well as parking space for customers.
Makutano, which is the second largest tomato market in the county after Kagio, targets wholesale and retail tomato traders from the neighbouring counties as well as some from Nairobi and Mombasa.
Kirinyaga County produces about 63,000 tons of tomatoes, earning farmers Sh1.5 billion annually.
The governor said her administration has been supporting tomato farmers to increase production and in provision of favourable market environment.
Under Wezesha Kirinyaga program, the county government also plans to build a tomato processing factory at Kangai to enable farmers add value to their produce for more profits.
Ms Waiguru said she was focused on ensuring development for locals’ benefit.
Ms Waiguru said her administration plans to have 19 modern markets in the region.
" I want every ward to have a market so that the traders can be comfortable when carrying out their businesses," she said.