JM Social Icons

    Kakuzi banks on macadamia & blueberries as avocado business falters

    kakuzi blueberry

    By George Munene

    Kakuzi PLC has announced plans to diversify into the production of superfoods such as Macadamia and Blueberries as its avocado business falters.

    While it's volume of Hass avocado sold decreased by 17.5%, its macadamia sales increased to 513 tons from 320 tons the previous year.

    The publicly-traded company plans on establishing an additional 100 ha of macadamias by 2026 from land previously under pineapple production. 

    “The variety of cultivars planted will also give us a good spread of supply into our key and emerging markets,” said Kakuzi chairman Nicholas Ng’ang’a.

    Speaking at the 94th Kakuzi PLC Annual General Meeting (AGM), he pointed out that the firm was looking to diversify into a variety of agricultural produce to insulate it’s dependence on traditional produce such as avocado and tea.

    Last month avocado farmers contracted to Kakuzi earned Sh31.4 million, a 46 per cent, fall from Sh57.9 million earned the year before.

    Increased global supply and reduced demand exacerbated by the closure of eateries caused by Covid-19 led to plummeting avocado prices.

    The publicly-traded company plans on establishing an additional 100 ha of macadamias by 2026 from land previously under pineapple production. 

    “The variety of cultivars planted will also give us a good spread of supply into our key and emerging markets,” Ng’ang’a explained

    95% of its blueberry crop was consumed in the domestic and regional markets.

    Ng’ang’a assured the firm’s shareholders that strategic plans had been activated to enhance shareholder returns by diversifying the variety of produce delivered to domestic and international markets.

    Related News: Kakuzi given green light to export avocado to China

    Related News: Nakuru farmers get avocado, macadamia markets & cheap loans from new program

    “Diversification had avoided potentially poor shareholder returns as more positive income was realized from crops such as macadamia as well as forestry products. In the past, we derived our income from coffee and tea sales and then moved to avocados in the 1990’s.  We are looking for further contributions coming from blueberry, livestock, and value addition opportunities coming in time,” Nganga said.

    The firm has had a keen eye on value addition opportunities across its product portfolio. It recently launched a macadamia retail pack and is exploring avocado oil and pulp as well as enhancing the value of its timber products.

     

    Comments powered by CComment

    Editor's Pick

    News Feed

    Powered by mod LCA

    Sign Up

    Sign up to receive our newsletter
    FarmBiz Africa © 2020