Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing livelihood to approximately 75 % of population. The agricultural sector currently contributes approximately 24% of Gross Domestic Product, generates 60% of the total foreign exchange earnings and provides direct employment to over 311,000 people. The sector has strongly forward and backward linkages providing most of the basic raw material and inputs to local agro-industries.
The major agricultural activities in Kenya are crop production, horticulture, dairy and livestock farming. The principle food crops produced include maize, wheat, beans, potatoes and rice, while major cash crops are coffee, tea, sugarcane, sisal, and pyrethrum. There exists potential in cotton production.
Opportunities exist in production and export of products such as cut flowers, French beans, pineapples, mushrooms, asparagus, mangoes, macadamia nuts, avocados, passion fruits, melons, and carrots. Support services include cold storage facilities and refrigerators for horticultural and other perishable products, seed production, construction of dams and bore holes,and installation of irrigation systems.
Australian imports from Kenya comprise mainly of fish and related products, and there is room for growth in this area considering the vast fishing potential of the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria. At present, deep sea fishing, prawn and trout farming are in their infancy but growing rapidly. Opportunity also exists in fish processing (filleting and fish meal production), as well as fisheries-support infrastructure (refrigerated transport, cold storage, etc.
Numerous investment opportunities exist in this sector. Edible and other oils produced locally include butter, ghee and margarine as well as sunflower, rapeseed, cottonseed, seamen, coconut and corn oil, while a large quantity of palm oil is imported. Investments to develop substitutes for palm oil imports are welcome.
Other opportunities include coffee roasting and grinding, with a further potential such as in the production of decaffeinated coffee for export,manufacture of sprayers and pesticides, and the production and processing of sugar, tea, meat and dairy products.
Hatcheries for the production of chicken for both domestic and regional consumption are under-exploited.
Leather and Leather Goods
Most hides and skins are processed up to the wet blue stage for export while investment opportunities exist in production of finished leather, offering potential for the manufacture of shoes and other leather products.
Kenya’s manufacturing sector plays an important role in adding value to agricultural output and providing forward and backward linkages, hence accelerating overall growth. The sector now comprises of over 700 established enterprises and directly employs over 200 000 Kenyans. A wide range of opportunities for direct and joint-venture investments exist in the manufacturing sector, including agro-processing, manufacture of garments, assembly of automotive components and electronics, paper, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, metal and engineering products for both domestic and export markets.
Kenya has an integrated pulp paper mill plant and paperboard from renewable forest products. However, the country imports coated white lined chipboard and other boards for packaging, newsprint, printed-paper and other type of paper. Investment opportunities exist in the production of paper from other raw material such as bagasse, sisal waste, straw and waste paper.
Textiles and Apparels
Textile, Garment and Apparel manufacturing has a very high potential in Kenya. Sufficient, experienced, productive and inexpensive Labour is locally available, in addition, a well-developed infrastructure, dependable air and sea transport links and support services required by the textile manufactures are already in place to enhance the development of the industry.
Vehicle Parts and Assembly
The motor vehicle component industry is rapidly developing to supply the needs of a few motor vehicle assemblers to meet certain local content requirements. The plants assemble passenger cars commercial vehicles. Kenya has over 20,000 new registrations annually. Products such as tires, tubes, batteries, springs, radiators, brakes pads, cables, rubber components and filters are now produced locally. A number of firms fabricate bodies for commercial vehicles. A small-scale bicycle assembly venture and a large ship repair operation exist as well. Opportunities exists for manufacture of components for use by local assemblers for domestic market and for export to regional markets.
Investment potential exist for the production of motors, circuit breakers, transformers, switch gears, irrigation pumps, capacitors, insulation tapes, electrical fittings and integrated circuits for both the domestic and export markets.
Plastics, Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals
A large number of pharmaceutical formulations are produced locally in the form of tablets, syrups, capsules, and injectables, but the bulk of pharmaceuticals is imported. There is room for additional investment in the pharmaceutical industry.
Many attractive investment opportunities in chemicals, pharmaceuticals and fertilizers remain unexploited. These include the production of PVC granules from ethyl alcohol; formaldehyde from methanol; melamine and urea; mixing and granulating of fertilizers; cuprous ox chloride for coffee bean disease; caustic soda and chlorine based products; carbon black; activated carbon; precipitated calcium carbonate; textile dyestuff; ink for ball-point pens; and galantine capsules.
MINING & MINERAL PRODUCTS
Kenya has well-developed cement processing plants that satisfy the domestic market and exports to the regional market. Approximately 1.2 million tones of cement are consumed locally each year. The Kenya Mining Industry is dominated by production of non-metallic minerals which are mainly: – soda ash (trona), flourspar, diatomite, vermiculite, natural carbon dioxide, kaolin, barytes, a variety of gemstones, limestone and lime products including various construction materials. In the case of metallic minerals, some quantities of gold are being produced. Iron ore is produced from localised small deposit and is utilised in the manufacture of cement in the country.
Opportunities exist in the production of glass, as the country is not self-sufficient. A few manufacturing units produce ceramic pottery and tiles, however, substantial quantities of ceramic pottery, tiles, sanitary-ware, and insulators are imported. Investment potential exists in prospecting and mining of other minerals such as gold, precious stones and petroleum.
Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries– www.kilimo.go.ke
Coffee Board of Kenya- www.coffeeboardkenya.co.ke
Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA)– www.hcda.or.ke
Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA)– www.ktdateas.com
Kenya Flower Council (KFC)- www.kenyaflowercouncil.org
Pyrethrum Board of Kenya- www.kenya-pyrethrum.com
Kenya Coconut Development Authority (KCDA)– www.kcda.go.ke
Kenya Coast Development Project (KCDP)– www.kcdp.co.ke
Kenya Nut Company- www.kenyanut.com
Kenya Livestock Marketing Council (KLMC)–www.livestockcouncil.or.ke
Kenya Leather Development Council (KLDC)– www.leathercouncil.go.ke