Kakuzi
Kakuzi directly engages, provides extension and marketing services for Hass avocado farmers as part of its outreach plan. At the moment, 3,500 farmers drawn Kakuzi's local community in Murang'a County as well as in Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Meru and Nandi counties are benefiting from the undertaking.

Christmas has come early for hundreds of smallholder avocado farmers in Murang’a County following a Kes31 million bonus pay-out by fruit exporter Kakuzi.

The farmers, who are part of Kakuzi’s 3,500 smallholder growers programme, are receiving the bonus payments for the delivery of quality Hass avocado fruits to the firm.

Through the programme, farmers are encouraged to plant the Hass avocado variety due to its popularity and ability to attract good prices in the global markets.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed agribusiness firm directly engages, provides extension and marketing services for Hass avocado farmers as part of its outreach plan.

At the moment, the fruit exporter is working with 3,500 smallholder farmers, ten active smallholder groups, and seven active out-growers.

Started several years ago, the Smallholder programme, is an initiative by Kakuzi that seeks to invest in the community for the supply of quality fruits.  This way, Kakuzi ensures that the full value gets back to the farmer and traceability can be managed.

Read also: Community reaping big from evolving Kakuzi fruit trade

Speaking when he confirmed the bonus payments, Kakuzi Plc Managing Director Chris Flowers said the programme further gives smallholder farmers access to global markets and allows them to benefit from the risks and rewards of the international markets.

Alongside market access, the programme, which provides small-scale avocado growers with access to best practices and the international market for their fruits, has continued to attract farmers from Kakuzi’s local community in Murang’a County as well as farmers in Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Meru and Nandi counties.

“Ahead of the Christmas festivities, Kakuzi confirms that we have commenced bonus payments to our avocado smallholder farmers. The total payment to smallholders and out-growers this season is Kes31.4 million, and this represents 87 percent of net returns,” Mr Flowers said.

He added that “Kakuzi has a large international market and wants smallholder farmers to access it. Therefore, we have upscaled the operations of our smallholder avocado farmers programme while boosting the global positioning of Kenyan avocados. The programme provides small-scale avocado growers with access to best practices and the international market for their fruit.”

The firm recently disclosed that it had invested more than Kes1.6 billion over the last four years to enhance its operations, expand production and maintain global standards.

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