Investing in Kenya:- Agriculture
Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing livelihood to approximately 75 per cent of the population. There is considerable scope for diversification and expansion of the agricultural sector through accelerated food crop production and increase of non-traditional exports. There are also opportunities for improvement in technology infrastructure such as packaging, storage, and transportation. Intensified irrigation and additional value added processing are marketable areas for investments.
Investment opportunities exist in seed production, manufacture of sprayers and pesticides, veterinary services, construction of dams and bore holes, installation of irrigation systems and services. Opportunities also exist in support services, such as cold storage facilities and refrigerated transport for horticultural and other perishable products.
The horticultural sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy and is the second largest foreign exchange earner after tea. Opportunities exist in production and export of products such as cut-flowers, French beans, pineapples, mushrooms, asparagus, mangoes, macadamia nuts, avocados, passion fruits, melons, and carrots.
Numerous investment opportunities exist in this sector. Edible and other oils produced locally include butter, ghee and margarine as well as sunflower, rapeseed, cottonseed, sesame, coconut and corn oils, while a large quantity of palm oil is imported. Investments to develop substitutes for palm oil imports are welcome.
Kenya produces excellent beer, utilising locally grown barley. The country has recently developed papaya and grape wines that can be exported to regional and international markets. Opportunities exist in coffee roasting and grinding, with a further potential such as in the production of decaffeinated coffee for export.
Sugar production, at 402,000 tonnes per annum is below the domestic demand estimated at 600,000 tonnes per annum. Molasses, a by-product of sugar production, is processed into power alcohol, potable alcohol, and baker's yeast. There is also considerable potential for the expansion of chocolate and confectionery products for export. Opportunities for investment exist in the production and processing of sugar, tea, meat and dairy products.
Hatcheries for the production of chicken for both domestic and regional consumption are under-exploited.
Kenya's water resources of the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria provide vast fishing potential. At present, deep sea fishing, prawn and trout farming are in their infancy but growing rapidly. Opportunities also exist in fish processing (filleting and fishmeal production), as well as fisheries-support infrastructure (refrigerated transport, cold storage, etc.).
Leather and Leather Goods
Most hides and skins are processed up to the wet blue stage for export while investment opportunities exist in production of finished leather, offering potential for the manufacture of shoes and other leather products.
Investment opportunities exist in the rearing of livestock for meat and dairy products. The dairy industry has been liberalised, providing new investment opportunities in milk processing for local and regional markets. Non conventional livestock farming, for example, of ostrich and crocodile farming, represent an exciting new area of investment. Bee keeping and honey processing are are untapped potential in Kenya.
About the Author: Robert is a tour consultant in Kenya and has planned business and vacation safaris for over 10,000 tourists in the East African region. He is a tour operation- major and involved in National tourism policy development in Kenya.
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