The beautiful county of Marakwet has immense resources some of which I may not know but here are the once I managed to identify on my trip there early this month. Just like many other counties in Kenya each has unique resources waiting to be tapped.
Marakwet County has an abundant supply of Mangoes and is able to support orange farming too but there is lack of a juice making factory. Farmers sell their mangoes at a throw away price of Sh250 a sack from September to December. This fruits can also be preserved in cans for sale in times of scarcity. The abundant supply of water and cheap labour coupled with electricity will help run the factory. The canned fruits or juice can then be sold in Eldoret, Nairobi and even exported. A fruit factory could also employ many, helping to end the security concerns in the area. The area governor had promised to bring in an investor, you may just be the one.
There is water for irrigation and soils are rich in Tot area. Watermelon farmers in the area are getting huge returns running to millions of shillings per season. There are however sporadic attacks from cattle rustlers but most of the farmers are not affected since raiders target cattle. You need a water pump and related equipment.
There is no decent hotel or resort past Iten to Kapsowar to Tot despite a beautiful terrain and rich culture that could attract tourists. There is abundant supply of food from the area. Security however can be a challenge at times.
Goat and ship farming
The shrubs and grass plus huge tracts of idol land provide good pasture for goats and ship. This are good source of meat for the area including Eldoret town. Cattle however will make one a target of Pokot cattle rustlers.
The price of cattle is way cheap in Marakwet. A grown up cow can go for about Sh15,000. A slaughterhouse provides a ready market for the cattle owners who want money. The supply of cattle is big given that most of the residents keep cattle including the Pokot who live across the opposite mountains. The dry periods also provide an incentive for farmers to sell. The presence of electricity can also power the factory and refrigeration.
Don’t miss: Business alongside gunfire in scenic Marakwet
Sorghum does well in this area since it withstands high temperatures and has a ready market among the residents of the place. The short varieties can do with little rain and mature faster. They can be used as food or sold for beer brewing.
Groundnuts also do well in the area since the soils are sandy and the rains are enough. Large scale farming could prove more profitable. The residents gave us some for free on our back.