Shareholders of Midlands vegetable processing plant in Njabini have raised an alert over a plan to dispose the factory.
Through their leaders, over 12,000 shareholders lashed out at Nyandarua County government for failing to revive the plant that is valued at over Sh1 billion.
A director, Matheri Wa Hungu, said the company was owned by 12,000 small scale farmers who had invested their livelihoods in the plant by buying shares. He said that the registrar of companies had refused to register directors elected by the farmers last year by giving flimsy excuses.
“Some powerful and rich individuals who have realized the potential of Midlands have schemed to grab it from the farmers with the support of senior county officials,” he said yesterday, adding there are plans to ensure the company is transferred to a company in the West Indies where the cartel has interests.
The director further noted that the region was experiencing acute fertiliser shortage despite promises by the county government that they would supply.
Former Nyandarua deputy governor Waithaka Mwangi Kirika said the plant has capability to employ over 1,000 people and store 18,000 metric tonnes of potatoes.
He said the company was fully owned by local farmers who had invested millions of shillings but had not reaped anything. Waithaka faulted the county leadership for failing to end the crisis which was threatening to derail activities at the company.
“The national government should also play an active role in ending the squabbles which as affected tens of farmers from this area,” he said.
County women rep Faith Gitau said that they were deeply concerned by plans to derail the plant which was the only hope for vegetable farmers in the region. “The biggest challenge Nyandarua farmers face is storage for their produce and its time Midland was refurbished,” she said.
“The county has set aside Sh100m for the potato processing plant and this will go a long way in assisting local farmers who do not have market for their produce,” he said.
Source: star media