- The project will serve as a hub for agricultural processing and manufacturing, providing a vital link between farmers, industries and the market.
- By aggregating agricultural produce and establishing processing facilities within the park, the project aims to add value to local products.
The roadmap towards revitalising the economy of Busia officially kicked off on August 11, with the ground-breaking of the first-ever County Aggregation and Industrial Park (CAIP) at Nasewa, in Matayos subcounty.
The event presided over by the Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Investment Moses Kuria and Busia Governor Paul Otuoma marked a major leap towards industrialisation.
The investment will serve as a catalyst for industrialisation growth with a primary focus on edible oils, energy, transport and logistics, storage, cold rooms and warehousing facilities.
The project located at the heart of Busia County will also serve as a hub for agricultural processing and manufacturing, providing a vital link between farmers, industries and the market.
By aggregating agricultural produce and establishing processing facilities within the park, the project aims to add value to local products and generate employment opportunities for the community.
“This three-phased project will not only bolster the agricultural sector but also reduce Kenya’s dependence on imported edible oils which costs the economy more than Sh100 billion annually. This first phase will create about 5,000 direct jobs,” Kuria said.
The CS said the second phase of the project will focus on the establishment of an Export Processing Zone (EPZ) which the government has committed Sh1 billion with its tendering set for next week.
“This project is part of Sh420 billion debt-free equity investment funds already approved by the Pan African financial institution (AFREXIM Bank) alongside other EPZs in Sagana, Del Monte and Eldoret. Sh40 billion will be channelled to Busia,” he added.
According to Kuria, at the end of phase three, the projects will have created over 50,000 direct jobs.
Farmers are also set to benefit more from CAIP which will offer a one-stop shop for oil crops including sunflower, sesame, soybean, groundnuts, palm, rice and the processing of cotton under Indonesian investors.
Otuoma said the park will transform from a fragmented supply chain to an aggregated demand-driven approach for quality products.
“Our objective is to facilitate production and employment, attract investment, integrate into the East Africa value chain and facilitate export,” the governor said.
The county chief further reiterated the project’s aim of promoting infrastructural change, diversification of production into areas of comparative and competitive advantage, and stimulating research and development among others.
“We are going also to upgrade critical infrastructure including the Butula-Nambale-Amukura and Matayos-Nasewa roads to open up the park for easier access,” he said.
Otuoma lauded the national government for availing 17 tonnes of cotton seed that will be distributed to farmers across the county where 17,000 acres will be put under its farming.
Another 5,000 hectares will be put under groundnuts and over 15,000 hectares under soybeans.
The initiatives, once realized, are expected to inject about Sh10 billion into the economy.
The County Aggregation and Industrial Park in Busia will also provide a platform for renewable energy initiatives aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
The event was attended by the Principal Secretary for MSME Susan Mang’eni, her Crop Development counterpart Kello Harsama, Deputy Governor Arthur Odera and Busia Senator Okiya Omutata.
Also present were MPs Geoffrey Odanga (Matayos), Geoffrey Mulanya (Nambale), Joseph Oyula (Butula), Busia County Assembly leadership led by Speaker Fred Odilo among other stakeholders
The CAIP is part of a plan by the national government to establish an Industrial Park in every county.
In the plan, the county government of Busia will avail Sh250 million for the project as the national government supports it with a similar amount of money.
The launch comes after the CS met governors to review the progress of the County Aggregation and Industrial Parks.
Kuria said following the meeting, it emerged that only 15 counties have Industrial Parks.
The CS met the Council of Governors on July 27.
Industrial and aggregation parks are one of the ways the Kenya Kwanza administration is seeking to boost agricultural production and value addition in the race to create jobs in the country.
In February, President William Ruto said the government would allocate money to every county for the construction of Industrial and Aggregation Parks.
The President said the move will enhance Kenya’s productivity as the nation is prioritising the consolidation, processing, and value addition of agricultural products.
“We will allocate the money to every county for the construction of Industrial and Aggregation Park so that we can have aggregation on all our farm products,” he said.
Otuoma on Wednesday reiterated that the establishment of the economic hubs in counties will incubate Export Quality Assurance and Packaging as well as boost the economy.
The project worth over Sh485 million is expected to be complete by February 2024.
The multi-million project will include; four aggregation warehouses, four cold room stores, an administration block and a powerhouse.
It will also host a pump house, perimeter wall and a stable power supply among others.
“My administration has allocated Sh250m similar to what the national government has committed,” Otuoma said in Busia.
“We are already sensitising our farmers on the project components that will also feature commercial production of edible oil as part of ward-based economic revitalization.”