By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Following the visit of Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong to Kenya for a peer review meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU has been signed between Plateau State Government and the Government of Kericho County in Kenya to establish a tea processing factory in Plateau.
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The memorandum of understanding was signed by Professor Danladi Atu, Secretary to Government of Plateau State on behalf of the State and Joes Bett, County Secretary of Kericho in Kenya and witnessed by the two Governors.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Governor’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr. Makut Macham, the document was signed after the Plateau entourage had taken a tour of the Ketepa Tea Processing and Packaging Company which is the largest tea farming company driven by farmer cooperative society in Kenya.
The statement reveals the Managing Director of the company, Albert Otochi who took the visitors through the tour 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 stressing, “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.”
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However, Lalong noted that Kericho County shares a lot of similarities in weather, topography and agricultural endowments with Plateau State and stated, “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.”
Other areas of collaboration, the statement added were “the possibility of training Plateau long distance runners in Kericho which has been the base of Kenya’s athletics strength over the years” as well as engaging in “modern way of cattle rearing which is not only profitable but a new way of maintaining communal harmony and better utilization of scarce land resources.”