Galole Integrated Fruit Processing plant was built in 2012 and launched in April 2014.The project is located in Tana River County, within the Coastal region of Kenya. It was established to produce mango pulp, for juice production, and process other fruits and honey.
The plant is owned by the Coast Development Authority and stands on a 200-acre piece of land allocated to it by the County Council of Tana River.
According to media reports, the project became a white elephant in 2015, just after one year of operation.
In 2018, the state used a total of Sh145M to revive the processing plant and expand its production capacity. Initially, the plant was manually operated, but after its revival, it became fully automated, with plans to install bigger machines compared to the previous one.
“We are revamping not only the production capacity but also the speed to achieve both quality and quantity for better revenues,” CDA Managing Director Dr. Mohamed Keinan was quoted by Nation.
He also added that the project failed due to the manual nature of machines, which affected the quality and quantity of the products, consequently affecting revenue.
It also turned out that the area where the plant is located was too remote with no water and electricity supplies, services that are essential for production.
Recently, Coast Development Authority (CDA) launched the first bottled water plant in the arid Tana River County, costing a total of Sh.7.5 million.
The new product also known as the ‘Tana Best’ is being rolled out at the Integrated Fruit Processing Plant located in Tana River County. And CDA will be getting water from River Tana for the plant.
CDA Managing Director Dr. Mohamed Keinan said that the Authority has upgraded the fruit juice manufacturing equipment to include a water production line.
“We have injected Sh.7.5 million to install a state-of-the-art water treatment and packaging equipment,” he was quoted by the Standard newspaper. He also added that appropriate planning and research was done to ensure the new product was successful.
According to Dr. Keinan, development projects in the coastal region are being aligned with the national government’s agenda of universal healthcare, affordable housing, food security, and manufacturing. And that the new venture into the water bottling business was to complement the mango processing plant during offseason.
Dr. Keinan said that the Automatic water bottling plant has a packaging capacity of up to 4,000 bottles of purified water an hour for sustainability.
According to media reports, Cynthia Mugo, fruit processing project coordinator said that the plastic water bottles are currently produced and supplied in 500 ml and 1-litre bottles and will be up scaled as per market needs.
The new developments have been welcomed by residents living near the factory saying it will create jobs for local youth, helping foster economic development in the Region.