Kakuzi an agri-business firm has announced a 3% drop in its half-year pretax profit from Ksh. Ksh. 285.9 million to Ksh. 276.7 million. The decline has been attributed to slower market growth and price volatility in its key export markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The leading international markets for Kakuzi products have also begun to show positive recovery signs with growing demand in the traditional key nut markets, despite the effects of the pandemic.

Speaking at the financial results release, Kakuzi Chairman Nicholas Ng’ang’a said, “To sustain trading growth and mitigate market risks, Kakuzi has swiftly moved to enhance its operating efficiencies. Further attention has also been applied to a diversification and value addition strategy for opportunities in the local market.”

The firm, Ng’ang’a explained, is anticipating a significant drop in avocado production as the orchards enter into what is known as an Off year. “Bi-annual bearing in avocado production is common, with an on year yield being higher than an off year yield. After last year’s bumper harvest, this year’s production is in an off cycle,” he added.

At the field operating level, Ng’ang’a added that the firm is currently witnessing lower output against its avocado harvests, but macadamia nuts’ production remains within earlier projections for the year.

“Demand for the Kakuzi range of wood, beef and animal feed products remains encouraging, and we continue to explore additional diversification strategies for this important range of products. Unfortunately, tea production returns have not improved in the last 12 months. We are aware of the proposed new tea regulations, and we await to see the outcome of the Court process,” Ng’ang’a explained.

As part of the firm’s corporate governance advances, Kakuzi is now at an advanced stage of developing an Operational-Level Grievance Mechanism (OGM). This mechanism is expected to provide multiple avenues through which its employees and the Community can raise grievances and issues they would like the Company to address.

The firm recently named an Independent Human Rights Advisory Committee (IHRAC) chaired by former Attorney General Prof. Githu Muigai, in an industry-first move. With the appointment of the committee to its Board, Kakuzi became the first corporate organization in Sub-Sahara Africa to constitute and establish such an independent advisory panel benchmarked against the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.