Kakuzi, an agri-business firm, has been nominated for 5 awards in the forthcoming Kenya Avocado Excellence Awards (KAEA). The awards are a strategic initiative of the Avocado Society of Kenya designed to celebrate stakeholders in the sector for the advancement of excellent service delivery and industry development.
This year has been nominated in 5 categories including the Avocado Person Of The Year 2020/21, which features the firm’s Managing Director, Chris Flowers. Other nominees in the Individual subcategory are Murang’a County Governor Mwangi wa Iria, Avoil Industries CEO Sunil Savla and the Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (KEPROBA) CEO Dr. Wilfred Marube. The firm has also been nominated in the Growers, Exporters and Crop Productivity Categories.
Currently, Kakuzi mainly exports Hass and Pinkerton Avocado varieties. A significant percentage of the export-grade Hass and Pinkerton is exported to the European market. However, there are efforts by the government to gain access to more local and global markets for the growing volumes of quality Kenyan fruit.
Speaking ahead of the KAEA Award ceremony, Kakuzi Executive Head of Corporate Affairs Simon Odhiambo said the firm is on course to enhance its Avocado production capacity with investments valued at more than Ksh. 100 million.
“We are humbled to be nominated in the respective categories as we consider this to be a deserved tribute to our commitment to quality avocado production for local and export markets. Kakuzi currently has a new immature avocado development area that is thriving, with production expected in a year or so. Land preparation for a new Avocado crop is also underway in a crop area previously under pineapple production,” added Mr. Odhiambo.
The firm, he disclosed, is also actively working on expanding the Kakuzi smallholder programme as part of its community empowerment and development and programme. With more than 3,000 members, the Smallholder programme reaches the immediate neighbouring community and, further afield providing free extension and related services to farmers.