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Kakuzi launches Macadamia Oil Processing Plant

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Murang’a County Government Governor Irungu Kang’ata has reiterated the need to pursue a manufacturing and industrialisation economic agenda at the national and county levels to foster accelerated development.

He said pursuing a progressive manufacturing and industrialisation agenda, particularly for export-led enterprises, should include adopting a conducive economic environment, including attractive investment and tax policies.

Speaking in his county during an event to officially launch a new macadamia oil processing plant by listed agribusiness firm Kakuzi Plc, Kang’ata stressed that manufacturing ventures provide numerous direct and indirect benefits that spur economic progress.

Export-led enterprises, he said, provide several benefits at the micro and macro-economic levels, including decent jobs provision, value addition for local agricultural produce, skills transfer, and foreign exchange.

While lauding Kakuzi Plc for its ongoing efforts to facilitate the value addition of local agricultural produce and provide decent jobs in the manufacturing sector, the County Government of Murang’a Kang’ata said, will provide full support to all investors in the region and will not pursue retrogressive operating policies.

Kang’ata noted that enterprises in the export space such as Kakuzi, help local residents in the Kakuzi Mitubiri ward by providing jobs and all Kenyans at large, through foreign exchange attraction, which helps strengthen the shilling and fight inflation.

“To spur economic growth in our county and country, a strategic focus on industrialisation, value addition, and manufacturing is imperative. However, to realise this vision, concerted efforts to create an enabling environment to attract foreign and local investors must be made,” Kang’ata said. He added, “Investment in Industrialization and value addition not only creates employment opportunities but also helps to bridge economic inequality gaps.”

The launch of the new Kakuzi macadamia oil processing plant, which has a daily extraction capacity of 1,000 litres, is part of the firm’s revenue and product diversification strategies. Alongside the macadamia oil processing plant, the Kakuzi Macadamia Processing Plant has an installed capacity of 2000 tons saleable kernel (SK), making it one of the largest in the region.

Speaking at the plant’s launch, Kakuzi Plc Chairperson Nicholas Ng’ang’a reiterated that the firm had grown beyond a farm enterprise and is now a sophisticated international agribusiness player. As part of the firm’s corporate strategies, Kakuzi, he said, is also investing financial and related resources to boost the local consumption of various superfoods, including avocados, macadamias, and blueberries.

He explained that the local consumption campaign will involve investing in value-added initiatives such as the Macadamia Oil Plant and the enterprise hub known as Kakuzi Farmers Market, which provides opportunities for other entrepreneurs to partner with Kakuzi in a shared prosperity model.

“At Kakuzi, we are strategically investing in resources that can facilitate shared prosperity for all our stakeholders. With the new macadamia oil processing plant, we hope to more than double macadamia consumption locally with a positive ripple effect across the value chain,” Ng’ang’a said.

With Kenya ranking as the third largest producer of macadamia globally and Kakuzi as the largest single-estate macadamia grower in Kenya, the launch of Kakuzi’s Macadamia Oil will provide more opportunities for us all to experience these products.

The Kakuzi Macadamia operations started in 2007 in fields that were previously under Coffee and Pineapple crops. Currently, the Macadamia Orchards cover more than 1379 Hectares, and the Kakuzi Macadamia Division provides more than 1200 decent jobs in a rural setting. This may double in size as the orchards mature in coming years.

Kakuzi Managing Director Chris Flowers noted that the launch of the Kakuzi Macadamia Cold Press plant is a significant milestone for the Company.

“This is part of our operating strategy to meet the growing demand for value-added products within our superfoods portfolio and, at the same time, to provide decent job opportunities for rural communities,” Flowers said. He added, “If we are to raise farmers’ incomes, then we must concentrate on high-value international and domestic markets in equal measures.”

As part of Kakuzi’s quest to become Carbon Neutral, the firm he disclosed is also exploring potential avenues to use macadamia shells for energy generation as they are an excellent source of activated carbon.

Macadamia Nut Oil presents a lucrative opportunity for farmers to maximise the value of their macadamia harvests. Despite Kenya’s status as a significant macadamia producer, domestic consumption is still very low. Kakuzi aims to change this narrative by promoting the use of macadamia products within our country, creating different market opportunities for farmers and driving economic growth.

Recently, Kakuzi officially launched a range of consumer products developed over the last two years for the domestic market, including ready-to-eat macadamia, gluten-free macadamia flour, Macadamia cereal mix and blueberry packs.

Kakuzi’s Macadamia Oil is now available at selected retail stores and the firm’s online e-commerce platforms and can be used to deep fry, cook, and mix with salads, among many other uses.

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