KENYA – Kakuzi PLC, a listed Kenyan agricultural company, has suffered a Kshs 329 million (US$2.26M) sectoral loss from its macadamia business in the half-year of 2023.

In the half year of 2022, Kakuzi collected a profit of KES 330 million (US$2.27) from the macadamia business, but unfortunately, this year same period, the situation has reversed to a loss of KES 329 million, according to Kenyan Wall Street.

Revenue of the company plummeted to KES 873.2 million (US$6M) from KES 1.03 billion (US$7M) the year before in the same trading period.

“The global macadamia glut continues to affect all leading international exporters from Kenya, Australia, and South Africa,” Kakuzi PLC Managing Director Chris Flowers said.

“To mitigate the losses, we have adopted a local marketing strategy geared at availing value added Macadamia products, including ready-to-eat nuts, macadamia flour, and cold-pressed oil.”

The Board said macadamia nut kernels are now selling for less than half the price recorded during the same period in 2022 even as production volumes from all source markets continue to grow.

The global macadamia glut situation is expected to persist throughout the balance of the 2023 financial year and perhaps into 2024.

The listed superfood producer has, however, posted a KES 171. 1 million half-year pretax profit on the back of a difficult trading period due to the prevailing Macadamia global glut.

As part of the new branding, Kakuzi has also officially launched a range of private-label consumer products developed over the last two years for the domestic market, including ready-to-eat macadamia, gluten-free macadamia flour, cold-pressed macadamia oil, and blueberry packs.

State eye palm farming to tame imports

Meanwhile, Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has revealed that the country has laid out strategies to halt reliance on cooking oil imports by boosting local palm seed production.

“We do not want to continue importing edible oil. We spend Sh150 billion importing. We want to be self-sufficient,” the CS said.

According to the CS, Homa Bay, Tharaka Nithi and Lamu counties have been identified as ideal for palm tree farming in a new plan by the government to manage the rising cost of imported cooking oil.

The CS Kuria was speaking at the launch of Mama Pima, an oil dispensing machine for low-income earners in Kawangware, Nairobi, on the sidelines of Indonesia President Joko Widodo’s visit to Kenya.

Speaking to The Standard, Kuria said that the country will borrow a leaf from Indonesia on how to be self-sufficient in palm oil production.

According to the Standard, Mama Pima will dispense cooking oil from as low as KES10 and will be strategically located in residential areas.

The ministry sees this as a creative solution to the high prices of cooking oil in the country, which average KES 360 per liter.

Kuria added that the Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC) will spearhead the installation of more palm oil dispensing machines across the country, which will be locally made.

He added that the installation will be done in collaboration with the Ministry of Cooperatives and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

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