As part of a business strategy, Kenyan integrated agro-business firm Kakuzi has announced plans to strengthen its Avocado smallholder base.
Nicholas Ng’ang’a, Kakuzi’s Chairman said the firm will spend more than Sh400 Million in capital expenditures (CAPEX) this year while concentrating on upscaling its smallholder operations value. This is to complement its production capacities and improve the global positioning of Kenyan avocados. He added that its vital that the markets only receive high-quality fruits from Kenya. To do so, farmers must gain a better understanding of market requirements.
Kakuzi’s other ventures
Aside from smallholder growth, Kakuzi is continuing to invest in agricultural production expansion and diversification projects. This goes for its Macadamia, Blueberry, Livestock, and commercial forestry business lines.
Global market to Kenyan avocados
“The markets for Kakuzi’s avocados remained solid, despite the almost complete closure of the food retail sector across our main markets. We expect that there will be some recovery in 2021, but this is not guaranteed. To mitigate this, we continue to trade with our traditional buyers as well as some key new players across 14 different countries.” Nicholas Ng’ang’a.
“The global market is responding positively to Kenyan avocados due to their high potential to provide good quality fruits. But, we must work tirelessly to secure this market positioning by focusing on the quality aspects,” Ng’ang’a said. “To secure this market positioning, Kakuzi will step up its effort to strengthen the capacity of our smallholders to meet the stringent quality and phytosanitary standards required at the global markets.”
Ng’ang’a went on to say that Kakuzi has secured lucrative markets for Kenyan agricultural products such as avocados and macadamia nuts. This will continue to integrate smallholders as part of a mutual prosperity strategy.
Despite the global Covid19 pandemic threats, Kakuzi’s growth plans, according to Ng’ang’a, are on track. This is to complete the company’s agricultural expansion and diversification programs, as well as advance the company’s sustainability journey.
“I am pleased to report that the pandemic did not force us to lay off any staff member. In-fact our employee numbers increased. We were able to also honor our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) Commitment with the Kenya Plantations and Agricultural Union to further increase wages.” Ng’ang’a.
Despite the confusion created by the COVID-19 Pandemic in its key sales markets, Kakuzi had a strong year last year. The company made a pre-tax profit of Kes. 848 million, down 16 percent from the previous year’s figure of Kes.1,014 billion.
“It’s critical that the markets only receive good quality fruits from Kenya. And to achieve this, building knowledge of the market requirements amongst farmers is very important.” Nicholas Ng’anga.