As it seeks to grow earnings and expand its portfolio of produce, Kenyan agro firm Kakuzi has diversified into production of blueberries. The company has been producing tea, avocados, macadamia and trees besides keeping livestock.
“In a new crop for us, we have established a 10-hectare blueberry trial at Kakuzi in Kenya,” the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm’s parent company, Camellia Plc, stated. “Following completion of the infrastructure, planting commenced in January 2019. If successful, there are substantial additional areas of Kakuzi which could be developed.”
The London-based multinational noted that blueberries are grown in pots in polytunnels (greenhouses) and therefore require extensive infrastructure. Camellia added that this also offers an opportunity to grow the plants on otherwise unproductive areas of the farm.
Besides blueberries, Kakuzi is also scaling up its avocado production by a large margin. “We planted 23 hectares of avocado near Kitale in Kenya which, if successful, could lead to a development of 600 hectares,” Camellia said. Kakuzi plans to dedicate up to 1,200 hectares to the production of avocado — its largest revenue earner and most profitable crop — in the medium term.
The company is also investing in infrastructure to support the export of its avocado. “In order to best manage the packing and export of this fruit, the packhouse (warehouse) will be upgraded during 2019. This represents another substantial investment for the company,” Kakuzi said in its latest annual report.