KENYA – United Green Group, a UK firm, has signed a Ksh 31 billion (US$235.9m) co-investment deal with Kisumu County Government to kick-start a flagship agricultural FinTech program for rural communities within the Nyanza region.
The five-year project is expected to spur high productivity in climate-smart farming and help the government set up Agro-industrial facilities, creating new markets for farmers in the Lake Victoria Basin region for over five years.
Besides transforming the agricultural sector, the project is projected to create at least 5,000 direct jobs and incorporate 20,000 rural households.
“This venture will be the largest and most modern integrated agri-food and services program and operation in Kenya, positioning the project as the leading strategic player in developing Kenya’s high-potential agricultural sector,” Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria said.
“It will subsequently commit to off-take agreements with the farmers to ensure financial security for these farmers.”
Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o pledged to work with United Green Group to revamp the region’s agricultural sector, saying this flagship agriculture investment program is set to revitalize the sector, enhance food security and boost trade in agricultural commodities.
” The MOU signed in London, United Kingdom, envisages direct investments of up to Sh31 billion in various crop value chains in the medium to long-term, by the private investment company and other partners in the project,” Nyong’o said.
The governor revealed that pre-production activities are expected to commence at the start of the next financial year.
” This project will also deliver the largest and most modern integrated crop and agro-industrial processing system in Kenya,” Nyong’o noted.
The governor observed that the investment will support the Kenyan Government’s strong commitment to increasing productivity, youth participation, and employment within the development of local agriculture and associated industries, and strong demand for high-quality, safe food products.
Government to set up 47 Agro Processing Parks across the country
To foster growth in all 47 counties, the government of Kenya has pledged to invest Ksh 100 million in the construction of Industrial and Aggregation Parks, aimed at boosting agriculture and adding to the value of farm products.
“We will give every county 100 million shillings to begin constructing industrial and aggregation parks so that we can have value addition and aggregation on all our farm produce before getting good local and international markets,” said President William Ruto.
“So far we are distributing fertilizer and every county has received a share and we will make sure it gets down to every ward.”
Kuria highlighted the government will start piloting the massive project in three identified counties which we want to increase to ten in the immediate phase and roll out in the next Financial Year.
He said the establishment of the parks across the 47 counties will guarantee direct sales to local and international markets through a network of international logistics companies.
Multi-billion agro-industrial park projects approved in various counties
At the same time, nine counties in the Lake Region Economic Bloc have endorsed a Ksh3 billion agro-industrial park that is being initiated by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido).
The park will, among others, accommodate a livestock, poultry, and fisheries processing zone, cold storage facilities, solid waste management unit, and training center.
Unido Acting Country Director Kawira Bucyana stated: “By establishing this industrial park, farmers will have broader markets for their agricultural commodities… They can add value and export the improved products, and this will reduce perishability.”
The investment will be the only one in Kenya and second to the one in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, according to Unido.
In Central Region, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has initiated the construction of Sagana Industrial City gazetted as a Special Economic Zone. The Agro-Industrial City will be put up on 250-acre land.
She said it will be the first Climate-smart Agro-Industrial City in the region.
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