KENYA – Edible oils manufacturer, Bidco Africa, has teamed up with American conglomerate Land O’Lakes to invest KSh1.2 billion (US$12m) in the upgrade of an animal feed factory in Nakuru, Central Kenya.

According to Business Daily, the joint venture expects the plant to have a processing capacity of 28 tonnes per hour, a move that will raise competition in the industry against existing players such as Unga Group.

 “The plant is fully automated to ensure accuracy in production and reduce the chance of human error,” Chris Diaz, a director of Bidco, said.

“This will enable us to introduce four products, Pro Calf Starter, Pro Heifer Developer, Pig Starter 4-4-4 and Pro Calf Milk replacer into the Kenyan market.”

The plant incorporates new technology to test every load of ingredients for quality (aiming for zero aflatoxins or other harmful elements) while ensuring the right mix of nutritional elements, the company said.

The plant is expected to create at least 100 jobs.

“We are working with 30,000 farmers who supply us with maize, sunflower and soya seeds for processing of oil products,” Mr Diaz said.

“Once this is extracted, the soya cake, maize germ and sunflower cakes will be used in creating new animal feed products that will be fortified to suit different livestock nutritional needs.”

Bidco, with a presence in 18 countries in East Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa said the new products will supplement Bidco Feeds brands that are processed at their Thika-based feed mill which has a capacity to process 48,000 tonnes a year.

Bidco Africa, previously Bidco Oil Refineries Limited (BORL), is a multinational consumer goods company headquartered in Thika.

Land O’Lakes is based in Minnesota and produces animal feed, dairy products and crop seed. 

The multinational, which is owned by farmers, reported net sales and net earnings of US$15 billion (KSh1.5 trillion) and US$255 million (KSh26.1 billion) respectively in the year ended December 2018.

Land O’Lakes is one of the largest producers of butter and cheese in the United States through its dairy foods business; serves producers, animal owners and their families through more than 4,700 local cooperatives, independent dealers and other large retailers.