KENYA – Listed agribusiness firm Kakuzi Plc plans to commission a macadamia oil extraction plant to meet the growing demand for value-added products within its superfood portfolio, All Africa reports.

The news was revealed by Kakuzi Chairman Nick Ng’ang’  while speaking during the firm’s 95th Annual General Meeting.

According to him, domestic sales of value-added macadamia products will help mitigate challenges in the international arena due to a prevailing macadamia glut in the global market.

The move is timely following the recent lifting of an eight-year ban on the export of raw macadamia envisioned to help stabilize the prices that have sunk drastically low.

Ng’ang’a revealed that the superfood grower is actively focusing on enhanced revenue generation from diversified local and export markets.

“We believe that the diversity of products, markets, and routes to market are essential elements of Kakuzi’s business strategy,” Ng’ang’a said.

He added that having the combination of avocados, macadamias, and hopefully blueberry as export crops to America, Japan, Europe, China, the Middle East, and the UK, as well as a strong domestic value addition range, the company’s success is guaranteed.

According to him, diversifying to macadamia oil extraction would give it the greatest opportunities to minimize risk and maximize returns in these difficult international market conditions.

In the last five years, the firm has nearly doubled its macadamia orchards from 621 ha to 1,128 ha and doubled the avocado packinghouse from a capacity of 8 tons to 16 tons per hour with expanded cold chain solutions.

Consequently, the agribusiness giant reported a 62% profit growth for the financial year ended 31st December 2022, representing a profit rise to Kshs 845.8 million (US$ 6.45m) net profit on the back of increased exports and a diversified portfolio.

On his part, Chris Flowers, the managing director of Kakuzi, added that the firm is reviewing and refining the final investment decision for the firm’s blueberry venture.

Last year, Kakuzi PLC entered into a partnership with Driscoll’s, the world’s leading marketer of berries, to grow local and export volumes of blueberries as part of the firm’s revenue diversification strategy.

According to Chris, Kakuzi has the potential to develop up to 200 hectares of blueberry production, which can generate an additional Sh5 billion (US$36M) in turnover per annum for the company.

As part of its climate-smart agriculture commitments, Kakuzi has also further invested in expanded irrigation capacity with the construction of 19 separate earth dams holding 12 million cubic meters of water with the capacity to irrigate a total of 1,600 ha of macadamia, avocado, and blueberry crops.

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