Governor Arati and the British ambassador recently inaugurated a groundbreaking multi-million dollar avocado processing plant in Kisii County, marking the region’s first foray into the agro-processing industry. The factory, an essential economic driver for more than 80% of Kisii’s population reliant on agriculture, is a product of the UK’s Sustainable Urban Economic Development (SUED) program, which identifies Kisii Municipality as one of Kenya’s 12 fastest-growing urban centers.
Expressing his gratitude to the British government, Governor Arati emphasized the plant’s potential to improve the quality of life for Kisii residents. To ensure the project’s success, he called on the Department of Agriculture to provide full support to the investor and committed to delivering Hass avocado seedlings to local farmers annually.
The first phase of seedling distribution is already underway, with the governor urging a transparent and equitable allocation process to maximize taxpayer value. In addition, Arati pledged to continue implementing legislation that fosters a business-friendly environment for both the avocado plant and other investments in Kisii’s economy.
David Gitonga, Project Manager of AvoFresh, disclosed that the factory has already invested 355 million shillings in the extraction facility. The venture is expected to generate 95 direct factory jobs and 100 induced jobs in its first year, while collaborating with 1,000 farmers initially and expanding to 3,000 in subsequent years.
According to Gitonga, the UK government’s technical and financial support has facilitated access to a larger pool of farmers, ensuring a reliable supply of raw materials for the facility. To date, Kisii County has provided more than 120,000 Hass seedlings to local farmers and leased a warehouse to AvoFresh on county-owned land.
The partnership between Kisii County and the UK government demonstrates a shared commitment to fostering sustainable economic development, and the avocado processing plant is expected to create new opportunities for the region’s residents while promoting environmentally responsible growth.