Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Government to set up 47 Agro Processing Parks at a cost of Kshs 4.7 billion

Each county will have at least one industrial park dedicated to agro processing facilities at the end of this year as the national government rolls out a multibillion agricultural industrialization program this year.

Championed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the agro processing facilities are expected to be built at a cost of Ksh 100 million each across all the 47 counties.

Samuel Mogeni, Deputy Director in the State Department of Industry at the Ministry of Trade and Industry made the announcement during a learning bootcamp organized by the Agricultural Industry Network (AIN) in Nairobi.

“The ministry is focusing on addressing the various challenges faced by our SMEs in the agro processing sector by setting up specialized facilities to support their incubation and growth into exporters.

These aggregation and industrial parks are destined for each county to provide all Kenyans with an opportunity to build a world class business,” he said.

The learning event drew together 35 companies from diverse value chains, including maize milling, honey, dairy and fish and which had successfully completed an intense training and coaching program supported by the Business Scouts for Development programm (BSfD). BSfD is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

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Addressing the bootcamp, AIN Chairman Edward Mudibo said that there remains a huge opportunity for public private collaboration to expand the economic possibilities in agriculture and in a way that provides them with capacity to deliver quality products to the market.

“For the past 12 months, over 35 SMEs in the Agro-processing sectors from Nairobi and Nakuru have been trained and coached on food safety practices and standards. This intervention has been realized as a result of partnership between Agricultural Industry Network (AIN) and the Business Scouts for Development programm (BSfD)”.

Held under the project titled Catalysing Elimination of Food Contaminants through Capacity Building, the bootcamp was set to prepare SMEs for local and international markets by ensuring they practice safe and quality production procedures, by meeting international sustainability production standards.

Echoing his remarks, Dr. Albert Mutua, the Director of Livestock in the State Department of Livestock at the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries said that Kenyan producers in the agricultural sector still faced challenges including the high cost and limited availability of raw materials, inefficient procurement procedures and poor production technologies that limit the quality of the animal feeds.

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“Despite these challenges, there remains a great need for the national herd to be fed with quality healthy safe and affordable feed resources in order to produce quality milk, eggs, meat and honey,” he said.

Dr. Mutua announced that the government, under its national feed strategy, aims to drive 11 livestock enterprises and 14 feed value chains.

Specifically, the country needs to invest Kshs 5.3 trillion in 126 million acres of land to produce the national animal feed requirement of 4.3 billion bales of hay while generating 1.7 million jobs annually for the next 10 years.

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