Governors from the central part of Kenya have come together to form a powerful economic bloc to help in the development agenda of the region.
Announcing the new outfit, Kiraitu Murungi wrote on his Facebook page, “We have today as the Central Region Economic Bloc (CEREB) signed an agreement and a draft blueprint for the bloc that will help us leverage economies of scale in the region in order to improve the livelihoods of people in our counties through joint implementation of projects and programs.”
The Meru Governor who was appointed as the co-chairperson of the economic bloc together with his Nyandarua counterpart Francis Kimemia also revealed that the meeting was attended by other governors from the 10 counties that form the bloc.
Also present during the signing were Deputy Governors, CECMs for Trade, Agriculture and Finance.
During the meeting, Kiraitu explained that they discussed issues on enhancing agricultural productivity through agro-processing and value addition to farm produce from the counties.
“We also had a special focus on coffee which is a major cash crop in the Central Part of Kenya and a significant foreign exchange earner but hasn't been doing very well in the recent past,” the county head added.
The governors also wanted to assure the farmers that the recommendations and resolutions would go a long way in addressing the challenges faced by the coffee sector and all other agricultural matters within the bloc.
“We thank the National Government for the Ksh3 Billion given out for cherry farmers this financial year and we are hoping to translate it into a coffee revolving fund to be used as a Minimum Guarantee Return for coffee farmers,” Kiraitu continued.
The governors also committed to ensuring that jointly and with other blocs to enforce the 50kgs Packaging Regulations for crops such as potatoes and other farm produce in order to reduce the exploitation of farmers.
Kiraitu revealed that the bloc would also ensure speedy implementation of both County and National projects which will stimulate development within CEREB.
The governors vowed to ensure, the revival of the old railway plying the Gilgil-Nyahururu-Nanyuki route and also the revival of the Thika to Nanyuki and eventually connecting the LAPSSET project from Isiolo, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Embu and back to Sagana as part of the Vision 2030 program.
CEREB is the bloc that contributes the largest share of the Country's economy at over 26% of the total National GDP based on the recent data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
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