The Kenya Agribusiness and Agroindustry Alliance (KAAA) and the County Government of Kilifi have signed a 6 billion investment deal which is set to benefit over 2000 small scale farmers at the coastal county.
The deal will see the construction of a fruit and vegetable agro food park in the county. A food park is a concentrated agro-industrial estate cluster which is mainly focused on value addition/agro-processing services of food products.
The food parks will support agri-business development (in food commodities) especially small and medium enterprises by providing networks of contacts between producers, markets and processors, as well as the physical infrastructure required for the transforming industries.
The food park will also support agro-industrial development by enhancing access to raw materials and marketing facilities and other support services and enhance competitiveness for the chain actors through improved efficiency and reduced operational costs.
The Kilifi agro food park is a flagship program of KAAA that proposes a demand driven/pre-marketed model with strong backward/forward linkages and sustainable supply chain. The primary objective of the program is to focus on value addition and agro processing as a whole.
KAAA will facilitate establishments of integrated value chain, with processing at the core and supported by requisite forward and backward linkage especially to SMEs in Kilifi County. The Food Park will be have facilities such as Production, Processing Plant, Cold Store, collection centers & Transports, besides this it will also facilitate the farmers by providing value for their hard work.
Kilifi County has a huge potential for fruits processing and this food park will create market for the locals and also employments for the youths and processing will highly improve our economy through increased revenue.
In her address during the Kilifi International Investment Forum, the KAAA Chief Executive Officer Lucy Muchoki said that lack of cooperation between farmers and policy makers has slowed down the agricultural sector development, a sector that forms the country’s economic back bone and employs over 70 percent of Kenyans either directly or indirectly.
Ms. Muchoki termed the disorganization of the private sector as a key barrier to engagement with the government. “The devolved system of governance makes it easy to engage under our umbrella,” the KAAA CEO said.
Kenya Agribusiness and Agroindustry Alliance brings together stakeholders in the dairy, cereals, traditional cash crops and horticulture. Muchoki said that the grant to set up the food park in the county will be channeled through the China African Bank (CAB). She termed the partnership between agribusiness stakeholders and the county government as an avenue to tackle issues affecting the industry.