Kakuzi Plc (NSE: KUKZ), a renowned local grower and exporter of nutritious foods, is committed to implementing a comprehensive strategy aimed at maximizing returns for its shareholders, as confirmed by the company’s Board leadership.
As part of its efforts to enhance shareholder returns, Kakuzi Plc is embarking on a groundbreaking venture in the retail sector by developing the Kakuzi Farmers Market. Strategically located opposite the company’s headquarters on the Nairobi-Nyeri highway, this retail establishment will not only enable Kakuzi to offer its recently introduced range of value-added products but also provide a convenient stopover for travelers in rural areas.
In addition, Kakuzi is currently in the final stages of a commercial evaluation process for a large-scale blueberry production project, which is estimated to cost approximately Ksh 4 billion.
During the 95th Annual General Meeting, Kakuzi Chairman Mr. Nick Ng’ang’a and Managing Director Mr. Chris Flowers emphasized the company’s active focus on generating enhanced revenue through diverse local and export market produce. They also announced the upcoming establishment of a Macadamia Oil Extraction Plant to meet the growing demand for value-added products within Kakuzi’s superfoods portfolio. The sale of value-added macadamia products in the domestic market will help mitigate challenges arising from the current oversupply of macadamias in the global market.
Mr. Flowers, the Managing Director, stated, “We firmly believe that Kakuzi’s business strategy must encompass product, market, and route diversification. By exporting crops such as avocados, macadamias, and potentially blueberries to America, Japan, Europe, China, the Middle East, and the UK, while also offering a robust range of value-added products domestically, we are able to minimize risks and maximize returns even in the face of challenging international market conditions.”
Mr. Ng’ang’a, speaking on behalf of the Board, confirmed that they are meticulously reviewing and refining the final investment decision for the blueberry venture. He further highlighted Kakuzi’s land assets, noting that the company has the potential to develop up to 200 hectares of blueberry production, which could generate an additional turnover of Ksh 5 billion per year.
Furthermore, Mr. Ng’ang’a explained, “The Kakuzi Farmers Market will not only create retail opportunities for local smallholder farmers but also provide them with a platform to sell their produce and goods to the captive market along the newly established road, which passes through Muranga, Kirinyaga, and Nyeri counties.”
Over the past five years, Kakuzi has made significant progress in its avocado production, increasing the cultivated area by 24% from 798 hectares to 987 hectares. The company has also nearly doubled its macadamia orchards from 621 hectares to 1,128 hectares and expanded the avocado Packhouse’s capacity from 8 tons to 16 tons per hour, along with enhanced cold chain solutions.
Demonstrating its commitment to climate-smart agriculture, Kakuzi has made substantial investments in expanding its irrigation capacity. The construction of 19 separate earth dams, with a total water capacity of 12 million cubic meters, enables irrigation of a combined 1,600 hectares of macadamia, avocado, and blueberry crops.
In the previous financial year ending on December 31, 2022, Kakuzi recorded a remarkable net profit of Kshs 845.8 million, representing a substantial 62% growth in after-tax profits. The leading grower and exporter of avocados and macadamias achieved unprecedented pretax profit growth, reaching Kshs 1.22 billion, a remarkable 159% increase compared to the previous year’s figure of Kshs 472 million.