Mr David Kimondo processes canola oil at his light industry in Mweiga town, Nyeri County. The oil is said to be healthier than other vegetable oils. Photo/Joseph Kanyi.
Kieni Canola Oil firm, a cottage industry that manufactures different types of oils from canola, neem, pumpkin and black seeds among other seeds is providing a ready market for farmers growing the plants in central, coast, Rift Valley, western and eastern parts of Kenya.
The Nyeri County based industry started its production in 2013 upon receiving a production permit from Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and it has been buying the seeds from farmers since the firm’s farm is inadequate for the production of the seeds.
“We plant some of the seeds within this one-acre piece of land but our production is less as market demand continues to increase because of the health benefits of the oils,” said David Kimondo Waiganjo, the founder and owner of the industry.
Kieni Canola Oil is currently producing 2,000 kilogrammes of canola oil a day and to create awareness about the importance of cultivating the crop, Kimondo goes around the country to encourage more farmers to venture in canola farming.
“Canola oil being the industry’s main product and many farmers are not growing the plant, I have taken it upon myself to go across the country to preach the gospel,” he said.
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He is a member of Agricultural Training Centres(ATC) or Agricultural Technology Developments Centres (ATDC) or Agricultural Mechanization Centres (AMC) in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii, Mombasa, Eldoret and Machakos where he plants canola and practically train farmers in those centres on growing the crop.
Other than the centres, Kimondo annually attends various Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) shows across the country where he always secure a space to grow canola plants and exhibit the oil as well as using the opportunity to teach farmers on the crop production.
He also grow other herbal plants which he extracts juices from and use to blend the canola oil. On this, he received certification from Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) in 11th December, last year allowing him plant, trade and train on herbal plants.
Currently, the industry is producing pumpkin seeds oil-20 litres a day, black seed oil-40 litres a month, neem seed oil-20 litres a month and peanut oil-500 kilogrammes a month.
He sell his products to supermarkets and retail shops in Nyeri, Nairobi, Meru, Machakos, Eldoret, Nyahururu, Kirinyaga, Thika and Naivasha among other places, a business which is currently earning him an annual turnover of over one million shillings.
Kimondo can be contacted on +254 722 550053