Kenya inks Sh32 billion climate-smart agriculture deal

Venture will reduce dependence on importing food by $200 million, over Sh26 billion annually

In Summary

•The country is set to benefit from a flagship $250 million (Sh32,679,400,000) climate-smart agriculture and food security investment programme.

•Partnership to deliver agri-fin-tech services in rural areas, high-productivity climate-smart farming, agro-industrial facilities, create markets in L.Victoria basin for 5 years.

Trade and Industry CS Moses Kuria and United Green Group’s chief investment officer Albrecht Frischenschlager sign an MoU.
SMART AGRICULTURE: Trade and Industry CS Moses Kuria and United Green Group’s chief investment officer Albrecht Frischenschlager sign an MoU.

Kenya on Wednesday received a boost following signing of an MoU for a flagship agriculture investment programme in partnership with UK-based United Green Group.

The country is set to benefit from a $250 million (Sh32,679,400,000) climate-smart agriculture and food security investment programme.

The partnership will deliver agri-fin-tech services for rural communities, high-productivity climate-smart farming and state-of-the-art agro-industrial facilities.

It will create new markets for farmers in the Lake Victoria basin over the next five years.

The MoU signing signals the Kenyan government’s commitment to ensure this UK-led investment project delivers on much-needed sectoral productivity and structural improvements to catalyse future food security and food sovereignty.

The investment via a Kenyan company, Victoria Green Invest, will adopt a rigorous development approach not seen before in the agriculture sector.

It seeks to contribute materially to food security for Kenya and the region.

The venture will reduce Kenya’s dependence on importing food commodities by approximately $200 million (Sh26,143,520,000) annually, thus reducing Kenya’s trade deficit.

An array of high-value crops will generate foreign exchange with a focus on servicing local consumer and industry demand with consumer value addition done within Kenya.

The value addition includes at least 100,000 tonnes (16 per cent of local demand) for locally produced rice products and another 100,000 bales (160 per cent of current local production) equivalent of cotton products to support the Kenyan textile industry.

Others include edible oils such as sunflower, soybean, cottonseed and maize by-products to support the livestock sector.

The MoU was signed between the Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry CS Moses Kuria, Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and United Green Group’s chief investment officer Albrecht Frischenschlager.

Kuria said, “The Kenyan government applauds the strong commitment and close collaboration shown by British investment group United Green and Kisumu county and national agencies and ministries, to initiate this truly transformative investment in Kenya’s agriculture sector.”

The CS said he is proud to support and is confident of the expected positive outcomes that could be extended across Kenya, including job creation, improved crop production for the outgrower community and enhanced livelihoods.

The investment will support the Kenyan government’s strong commitment to agricultural transformation, increased productivity and output, and inclusive growth of local agriculture and associated industries.

The collaborative development approach over five years will deliver the largest and most modern integrated crop and agro-industrial processing system in Kenya and strengthen Kenya’s food security in the face of global threats.

Governor Nyong'o said Kenya needs a champion organisation to provide leadership and prudent investment to develop inclusive, scalable, market-based, environmentally sustainable and high-productivity agri-food systems.

“This project has an incredible alignment to the Kisumu’s strategy and with the national Government's Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy  2019-2029, we will significantly contribute to all nine ASTGS flagships,” he said.

Frischenschlager said, “We are proud to have found such committed foundation partners and identified potential additional partnerships with international DFI’s and look forward to fish catch has dropped sharply, Coast Guard blamed for colluding with illegals, a national champion business in the sector together.”

Frischenschlager said the investment would not have been possible without market orientation, business process guidance and support from the UK Government.

He singled out the the invaluable support from the British High Commission in Kenya, Agricultural Transformation Office and Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry, Kenya.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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