KENYA – The government of Kenya has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with UK-based company, United Green Group (UG) to adopt a rigorous development approach in the agri-food sector, which seeks to improve food security and halt food imports by US$200 million per year.

The Kenya Development Corporation (KDC) will spearhead the partnership to deliver agri-fin-tech services for rural communities, high-productivity climate-smart farming, and state-of-the-art agro-processing facilities, creating new markets for at least 100,000 rural households over the next five years.

Speaking during the MoU signing, KDC Director General Norah Ratemo said the partnership with the United Green Group is a significant step forward in Kenya’s efforts to adapt to climate change and address food security in Kenya.

“At KDC we are committed to fostering resilience and adaptation across the agricultural sector. We continue to work closely with the Government of Kenya, development partners, and private sector stakeholders to implement innovative solutions that will enable our farmers to thrive in a changing climate,” Ratemo said.

On his part, Neil Carter, United Green Chief Investment Officer said that they were proud to be working in partnership with such committed partners in KDC and the Government of Kenya to deliver real-world solutions to address the impacts of climate change and deliver regional food security.

“We are also proud to be working with key development partners who are assisting to build a sustainable and innovative business in the sector together.”

UK High Commissioner, Neil Wigan noted that the UK Government applauds the strong commitment and close collaboration shown by the British Company United Green, and the Kenya Government, in the “truly transformative investment in Kenya’s agri-food sector.”

The investment will support the Kenyan Governments’ strong commitment to agricultural transformation, will increase productivity and output, enhance livelihoods as well as strengthen Kenya’s food security in the face of global threats,” Neil Wigan said.

The Agri-Food Investment will focus on climate-smart and sustainable farming, improved nutrition, job Creation focusing on women and youth, and inclusive and demand-driven consumer markets.

Rebecca Miano, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry who witnessed the signing of the MOU underscored the importance of such partnerships in propelling the agri-food sector in the country.

“Kenya needs a champion organization to provide leadership and prudent investment, to develop inclusive, scalable, market-based, environmentally sustainable and high productivity agri-food systems,” Miano said.

Miano added that this project has incredible alignment with the Government of Kenya’s strategy and with the national Government’s Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) Flagships.

The move comes amid the COP28 World Climate Action Summit where President Ruto, as the chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), is expected to lobby for fair financial terms and marketing Kenya as the continent’s green powerhouse.