Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika struck a Ksh61 million grant deal on Wednesday, December 14, with the US Government, focused on accelerating economic growth, increasing agricultural exports to the US markets, and restoration of the once vibrant pyrethrum sector.
In a statement issued by the governor, she stated that Nakuru was a desirable location for US-based businesses looking to expand into Africa.
The Governor engaged with a US delegation led by the country’s envoy to Kenya, Ambassador Margaret Whitman.
As per the agreement, the US government will provide the grant through the Kentegra network to expand the pyrethrum growing base in Nakuru County.
Nakuru County Governor Susan Kihika and other leaders at a roundtable on Tuesday, December 13.
“The US Embassy will via the Kentegra network provide an expanded pyrethrum growing base and empower farmers in the region,” Kihika noted.
Kihika encouraged farmers to move beyond subsistence farming into the high-value export market, as well as join cooperatives to gain access to services and market their produce.
“The emphasis here is on increasing exports of both processed and raw agricultural products to the US market, such as pyrethrum, as well as leveraging US agricultural expertise, “Kihika stated.
The governor stated that her administration was taking advantage of the good working relationship between Nakuru and the US government by urging US investors to set up value-addition factories in the County and advance agriculture technology.
“We urge US investors to come to Nakuru and establish value-added factories. At the heart of the new relationship will be diversifying opportunities for economic growth and job creation for youth,” Kihika added.
Ambassador Whitman echoed that the US would promote investment opportunities available in Nakuru, especially in agriculture, and partner in mobilizing US firms’ investments in the region.
Kihika stated that her government provided strategies that enabled the county government to save up to Ksh1.2 million every month owing to the setting up of the Baharini Solar farm.
Nakuru County Governor Susan Kihika , US Ambassador to Kenya H.E Margaret “Meg” Whitman and other leaders at a pyrethrum farm in Nakuru on Tuesday, December 13, 2022
“Nawassco set up a 400kw solar farm which has 8 boreholes with a yield capacity of 12,000 cubic meters every day. Saves almost Ksh1.2 million every month” Kihika added.
Other areas explored during the talks included developing affordable housing, water and sanitation, transport, green energy, and urban mobility.
The governor reiterated her administration’s commitment to improving the county’s attractiveness to investors, beginning with tax reforms through fee harmonization and the elimination of non-tariff trade barriers.