KENYA – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations focused on economic and industrial development, is supporting the construction of the Ksh.3 billion (US$27.95m) agro-industrial park in Kenya’s Lake region.
The Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) is set for a major economic boost as the construction of the manufacturing and trade hub has kicked off, reports People Daily.
The counties that constitute the Lake Region Economic Bloc are Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega,Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nyamira, Siaya,Trans Nzoia, Kericho,Bomet, Nandi and Vihiga.
The park set to occupy 265 acres of government land, will be set up in Nyamira County with financial backing from both the UN body and the County Government.
“It has been common knowledge since pre-independence Kenya that trade in raw materials has not been bringing real returns to the farmers. Establishing the park means that there will be more value to farmers products,” Acting Unido Country Director Kawira Bucyana said.
According to the UN official, through the initiative, farmers from the Lake Region will be linked to global value chains.
“We recently launched the Free Continental Trade Area. The initiative means that farmers from Kenya can now have free access to markets in Egypt, South Africa and across the continent which will ensure diversification of economic activities and a shift to agro-industries, an aspect that will create the much-needed jobs for young people,” she added.
In a bid to create a suitable environment that will ensure ease of movement of the goods, the Kenya Airports Authority is planning to have an airstrip in Nyamira as one of the developmental milestones accompanying the mega industrial project.
“It has been common knowledge since pre-independence Kenya that trade in raw materials has not been bringing real returns to the farmers. Establishing the park means that there will be more value to farmers products.”Acting Unido Country Director – Kawira Bucyana
Meanwhile, in Ethiopia, the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, has inaugurated the Bulbula Integrated Agro-Industrial Park, which costed close to 9 billion Birr to establish.
Resting on 271 hectares, the IAIP is expected to process fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, poultry, coffee and cereals, among others.
“The inauguration of Bulbula Integrated Agro-Industrial Park is a demonstration of our vision for prosperity, the agriculture sector, farmers, and consumers,” Abiy stated.
The park is among the three IAIP including Yirgalem and Bure, that have already been launched in the country.
Ethiopia has based its economic growth strategy on the creation of industrial parks, supported by the development of power and transport infrastructure, with the aim of making it the leading manufacturing hub in Africa by 2025.
The Agroindustry parks are built in different parts of the country with a total investment of over US$730 million.
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