Governor Anne Waiguru's agricultural development strategy in Kirinyaga County is bearing fruit with the imminent completion of two state-of-the-art markets – Togonye and Riakiania.

These facilities promise to be game-changers, offering farmers and traders a secure, well-equipped platform to revolutionize the local economy.

Gone are the days of rudimentary stalls and harsh open-air conditions. Togonye and Riakiania boast modern infrastructure, including robust drainage systems, reliable water supply, and sanitation facilities, fostering a dignified and efficient trading environment.

With a capacity exceeding 2,000 traders, these markets provide ample space for produce aggregation, empowering farmers to bypass exploitative middlemen and establish direct connections with consumers.

Waiguru, the driving force behind this agricultural revolution, emphasized the multifaceted benefits the markets would bring to the local community. 

"My administration will continue supporting farmers to upscale farming as well as provision of favourable marketing environment," Waiguru stated, emphasizing her commitment to empowering the agricultural sector.

Dr. John Gachara, County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, echoes this sentiment.

Gachara argued that these markets are not just brick and mortar but are catalysts for agricultural transformation.

By minimizing post-harvest losses, reducing transportation costs, and facilitating direct market access, the county is empowering farmers to transition from subsistence to commercialized agriculture, unlocking sustainable economic growth.

“Construction of all these markets by Governor Waiguru is meant to help farmers earn more from their produce so as to improve their livelihood,” Gachara said.

Governor Waiguru's vision extends beyond market construction. The strategic proximity of the upcoming Sagana Industrial Park ensures seamless raw material supply, paving the way for value-added processing and further economic diversification within the county.

"We have also successfully lobbied the National Government for the construction of another three markets in Kiburu, Kimbimbi and Mukarara to bring the total to 21 markets against our target of 25 aggregation centres across the County," Waiguru added, highlighting her collaborative approach to development.

The impact of these modern markets transcends individual livelihoods.

"This project not only ensures financial benefits for produce sellers in the market but also, with approximately 1000 traders transacting, it will catalyze the growth of small-scale businesses, including clothing stores and hotels in the area," pointed out Murinduko MCA Charles Nyamu.

Kamau Murigu, a trader at Riakiania market, commended the progress, anticipating increased business opportunities.

"We anticipate more traders and buyers will troop in once the market is completed. Our expectations are high in terms of selling more bananas, avocados, and macadamia nuts, ultimately contributing to increased income in our pockets and the flourishing of our businesses," he said.

"We are happy that finally the promise from our Governor to build us a market has been fulfilled, as traders we excited and we look forward to its completion," stated Geoffrey Maina, a trader at Togonye.

Faith Wangari, the chairlady of Togonye Market, echoed Maina's sentiments, expressing their joy, particularly about having a shelter that shields them from harsh weather conditions like rain and sun.

She emphasized the significance of the security lighting, providing residents with a sense of assurance regarding their safety.

As the final touches are applied to Togonye and Riakiania, a palpable sense of optimism envelops Kirinyaga.

These markets are not merely structures; they are symbols of progress, prosperity, and a community empowered to cultivate a more vibrant future. In their well-equipped halls, farmers and traders are poised to reap the rewards of Governor Waiguru's vision, transforming mud and rain into thriving hubs of commerce and collective success.

With 17 markets already constructed in just three years, Governor Waiguru is well on track to achieving her ambitious target of 25 aggregation centres across the county.

This unwavering commitment to empowering Kirinyaga's agricultural community is evident in every brick and mortar of these modern markets, promising a future where farmers and traders alike can thrive.