There seems to be a growing boom in fruit processing in Kenya. An Eldoret-based investor plans to set up a Sh500 million fruit processing plant targeting the European and Middle Eastern export markets. DavidNdiema, executive director of Transaction Link international, disclosed that the company has applied for a certificate from the Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest), which allows for deductions from tax payments of up to 150 per cent of initial capital spent on projects outside Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
Funding for the factory will be sourced from a local bank and an Italian company. This will lead to economic development in Kenya.
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]We will get 75 per cent of the financing from Bertuzi Food, a food processing company in Italy and we are also working with MEAF Consultants located at Sameer Park in Nairobi.[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
He said the company has identified a 1.3 acres of land in Eldoret municipality, opposite the Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE), that is valued at Sh30 million.
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]We are processing funding arrangements (for the land) with the Diamond Trust Bank (DTB)[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
Machinery for the factory will be sourced from Bertuzi.
The company plans to contract small-holding farmers in Eldoret to grow passion fruits. The project involves development of a commercial nursery for breeding of quality seeds and growing of grafted purple passion fruits on yellow seedlings for 12,000 farmers for fruit processing Kenya.
“KenInvest will help in issuing tax waivers through the Ministry of Finance”. KenInvest said this in a letter responding to the application by Transaction Link International dated January 31, 2012.
The company will also comply with the mandatory health, security and environment requirements. Mr Ndiema said that Transaction Link is also in consultation with the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) and other banks for funding arrangements.
Regional manager at Kenya Investment Authority in Eldoret, Robert Materei, confirmed to a business daily that KenInvest had received an application for the Sh500 million plant, but a certificate will only be issued after a site visit to the proposed site. Transaction Link International Ltd is a private company that specialises in microfinance and agribusiness.
[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”left” quotestyle=”style02″]It has been 13 months since we started working on the passion fruit incubator project,[/sws_blockquote_endquote]
Adding that the company has plans to expand to the rest of East Africa and South Sudan by 2017. This will mean well for the sector of fruit processing in Kenya. There are two commercially viable varieties of passion fruits, the yellow and purple fruit. The yellow is the most dominant while the purple passion fruit is only grown in small quantities around the world.
This venture will help nurture the Kenya economic development plans.
It also brings Kenya closer to the Vision 2030 plan for economic development in Kenya.