NZ investors bet on Kenyan avocadoes
A group of New Zealand investors plan to build an avocado factory in the Kenyan town of Murang'a,which is expected to pave the way for better export market access for local farmers, website Businessdailyafrica.com reported.
Export Processing Zone Authority spokesperson Jonathan Chifalu said the venture was still in its formative stage, with 2.05 hectares gazetted for the project, the story reported.
"The investors are not ready to go public about their identity or business structure, but their choice of Murang’a was influenced by the proximity to (its) source of raw materials," Chifalu was quoted as saying.
The story reported the factory would likely provide employment to 1000 people, while also giving farmers better opportunities to meet the strict export standards for markets in South Africa, Europe and the U.S.
The move comes at a time when many Kenyan politicians have been calling for a greater focus on value-adding industries, with some MPs currently trying to ban the export of unprocessed macadamias to China.
Government statistics show Kenya's annual avocado exports are worth around KES2.2 billion (US$25.9 million).
Related story: Kenyan politicians propose macadamia export ban