Listed agricultural firm Kakuzi has joined the retail space with a farmers’ market as part of a diversification strategy to increase domestic sales.


The firm said it would build a retail outlet opposite its headquarters on the Nairobi-Nyeri highway.

A farmers’ market allows local farmers and growers to sell their produce directly to the public.

Kakuzi says it will sell its produce of Hass avocados, frozen and fresh blueberries, value-added macadamia products, beef and goat meat, honey, grass hey and fruit tree seedlings.

It will also provide stalls for the local community to retail vegetables, cereals, fruits including mangoes, oranges and bananas and community items like clay pots and baskets.

The farmers market will feature a coffee shop to be outsourced and operated by a local restaurant retail chain.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed grower and exporter has diversified into the local market to cushion its earnings against global market challenges such as price falls and stiff competition coinciding with a prevailing macadamia glut.

“In addition, the Kakuzi Farmers Market will also provide a retail opportunity for a section of the local smallholder farmers as we plan to provide an opportunity for them also to sell their produce and wares to the captive market on this new road that traverses through Murang’a, Kirinyaga and Nyeri counties,” said Kakuzi chairman Nick Ng’ang’a in a statement.

“Having the combination of avocados, macadamias and hopefully blueberry as export crops to America, Japan, Europe, China, the Middle East and the UK, as well as a strong domestic value addition range, we believe, gives us the greatest opportunities to minimize risk and maximise returns in these difficult international market conditions,” Kakuzi managing director Chris Flowers added.

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The diversification strategy includes the production of macadamia and blueberries, the rearing of goats for meat and agroforestry.

Kakuzi plans to start the export of blueberries, adding that it is in the final stages of a commercial appraisal process for a full-scale production of the crop at a Sh4 billion estimated cost.

The firm is also set to commission a macadamia oil extraction plant to meet the growing demand for value-added products within its superfoods portfolio.

Kakuzi declared a dividend of Sh24 per share or a total of Sh470.3 million for the year ended December, riding on strong sales and earnings growth.

This is after its net income more than doubled to Sh845.8 million in the year, up from Sh319.7 million a year earlier.


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