The new Lamu Port in Kenya begins operation on Thursday starting with the cargo transportation of 80-ton avocados to France.
The avocados loaded on MV Seago Bremerhaven cargo ship are freshly grown at Kakuzi PLC Makuyu orchards.
According to the Managing Director of Kakuzi, Chris Flowers, Lamu port going into operation is a huge benefit for agro-business firms importing farm inputs and exporting farm produce.
“As a truly Kenyan agribusiness firm, we are excited at the operationalisation of the first berth at the Port of Lamu. This development begins to crystallise the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport Corridor project, which will benefit Kenyan producers immensely and congratulate the Government and the Kenya Ports Authority among the other development partners for this milestone,” he said.
He went further to emphasize on the high quality of the avocado fruit, as it gains massive patronage in the market.
“Our location provides a temperate climate which is perfectly suited to the production of avocado. From seedling to fork, we have full control over the entire value chain, ensuring complete traceability and a high quality product,” he said.
The MV Seago Bremerhaven cargo ships carry on board five 40-foot containers containing the Hass variety avocados.
Each container carries at least about 20,000 kilos of avocados neatly packed into 4-kilo cartons. In total, there are about 5,200 cartons in each container.
To prevent the fruits from getting ripe, before reaching the Port of Marseille-Fos, the container is designed to scrub the air. And with a cooling system, it keeps the air at 6 degrees.
Kakuzi is looking into agricultural expansion and diversification. Part of its development plans include expanding the smallholder sector. This was made known during the 93rd Annual General Meeting.
The diversification project will include macadamia, blueberry, livestock and commercial forestry business lines.
So far this year, Kazuki has invested over Ksh. 400million in capital expenditures (CAPEX). The firm’s production capacity with the expansion of its smallholder sector will skyrocket Kenya’s position in the global avocado market.
Chris Flowers concluded stressing the importance of producing only quality fruits through building knowledge of the market requirements amongst farmers.
By Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.