KENYA – Ten Senses Fair Company is set to construct a new cashew nut processing factory in Kilifi, coast region of Kenya under the recently unveiled European Union funding in the country’s agro-processing sector.

The factory will have an annual capacity of 10,000 metric tonnes.

It is part of the US$2.4 million (Sh240 million) cashew nuts and sesame value-addition project that the European Union is funding in collaboration with Visegrad Group covering Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic.

The project – implemented by Ten Senses Fair Company – also targets to grow about one million cashew nut trees per year in Kilifi, Lamu and Kwale for processing at the factory.

Speaking after meeting the Slovak Ambassador to Kenya František Dlhopolek, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi said that the county has distributed more than 200,000 free cashew nut seedlings to farmers, reports Business Daily.

“The county government in collaboration with Ten Senses Fair Company also offers extension services,” he added.

Ten Senses Fair managing director Frank Omondi had earlier on said the firm will be selling the seedlings at a subsidised price compared to the market rate of about in order to make it affordable to farmers.

Mr Kingi has also tapped a Ghanaian investor to introduce cocoa farming in Kilifi, targeting 99,000 farmers.

As part of the cocoa farming initiative, the Kenya Agricultural Research Organisation (KALRO) in collaboration with Kilimo Sasa Fund (KSF) have successfully conduct a feasibility study on the crop viability in the Coast region.

KSF have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the County Government of Kilifi and the Community Agriculture Resources Development Program (CARDEP) for the implementation of the project.

According to Mr Gary Roy Stubley, the chief executive officer of Kilimo Sasa Fund the project is targeting to produce between 40,000 and 50,000 tonnes of cocoa in the first harvest before expanding farming to other areas.

“Cocoa will take about two and a half years to mature and that happening we shall get an interim crop that will give us two harvests in a year.

“The overall tonnage that will put Kilifi and Kenya to the international cocoa market will be 250,000 tonnes in a year,” he said.

The Kilifi Governor said that the projects will help to revamp the agriculture sector in the region and encourage farmers to embrace new modern agricultural ventures.