By Kimuri Mwangi
Granot International Company, one of the biggest producers and packers of avocados has officially launched its operations in Kenya.
Granot operates the largest avocado packing house in Israel and produces one-third of Israel’s total avocado yield. With an annual revenue of more than USD 1.5 billion, it is one of the largest cooperatives in the world. Granot Cooperative includes 20 factories and corporations, mainly focused on agriculture and the needs of the Kibbutzim, their communities and members.
The Israel-based company has begun avocado farming in Kenya and aims to create a value addition chain for both local consumption and export. They have planted 55,000 trees of avocado with the ultimate target of 300,000 on a 400-hectare farm. The farm is located in Ndabibi, Naivasha, in Nakuru County. The Ndabibi farm will allow them to secure year-round avocado production for their new marketing arm.
The project adds to existing avocado investments in Tanzania and Mozambique, for a total of more than 1,250 hectares of production. Ndabibi will become the company’s production hub and a world-class agricultural centre. The farm will increase the production capacity of high-value crops primarily for export, as well as short-cycle crops for the local market. At its peak, about 2,000 people will be employed at the farm, including horticulture operations, creating employment and training opportunities for local communities. They have partnered with Agris an investment holding company with more than USD 100 million under management across sub-Saharan Africa.
The launch was led by Israeli Ambassador Michael Lotem accompanied by Nakuru county Agriculture CEC Leonard Bor, Infrastructure CEC Eng Michael Kamau, and Trade CEC Stephen Kuria. Ambassador Lotem said the company has created a huge platform of employment both on a permanent and casual basis.
Granot International pack house in Israel
In an engagement with the envoy earlier this month, Nakuru County Governor Susan Kihika said avocado farming has the potential to boost the county’s economy and expressed her readiness to partner with Granot International, to infuse technology and value addition in growing the crop.
She added that Nakuru County is committed to the promotion of avocado farming and the partnership with Granot International will give farmers in the county a chance to learn about the technology, certified seedlings, better methods of farming, packaging methods, and marketing to make the crop a top income earner in the County.