Avocados first shipment from Port of Lamu

Tue, Jun 29, 2021

Kakuzi loads five containers of the Hass variety avocados aboard ship destined for the Port of Marseille-Fos, France

Kenyan integrated agro-business firm Kakuzi PLC has celebrated the operationalisation of the new Port of Lamu with an inaugural 80-tonne cargo of avocados destined for France.

Fresh avocados grown at the Kakuzi orchards in Makuyu, Murang’a County, were part of the cargo on Ship MV Seago Bremerhaven when it docked at the port of Lamu en-route to France.

Speaking when he confirmed the firm’s export load, Kakuzi Managing Director Chris Flowers said the operationalization of the port provides wider benefits for agribusiness firms that import farm inputs and export 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. I congratulate the government, the Kenya Ports Authority and development partners for this milestone,” Flowers said.

The Kakuzi avocado fruit, Flowers said, is steadily enjoying market preference due to its high quality. “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.

He disclosed that Kakuzi had loaded five containers of the Hass variety avocados aboard the container ship destined for the Port of Marseille-Fos, France.

Each of the 40-foot shipping containers has a controlled atmosphere cooling system that keeps the air at 6 degrees Celsius and scrubs the air to prevent the fruit from ripening before it arrives. On average, each container holds about 20,000 kilos of fruit packed into 4-kilo cartons. There are about 5,200 cartons in each container.

During the listed firm’s recent 93rd Annual General Meeting, Kakuzi confirmed plans to strengthen its avocado smallholder base as part of a shared prosperity business plan.

Alongside the smallholder development plans, the firm focuses on agricultural production expansion and diversification projects for its Macadamia, Blueberry, Livestock and commercial forestry business lines.

The firm will this year invest more than Ksh400 million in capital expenditures (CAPEX) while focusing on upscaling its smallholder operations value to complement its production capacities and boost the global positioning of Kenyan avocados.

Photo Credit:  © Kenya Ports Authority

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