Italians to set up Sh2b dairy and beef firm in Uasin Gishu County

Uasin Gishu, Kenya: Hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit seems to be bearing fruit less than a week after US President Barack Obama and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta co-hosted the summit in Nairobi last Friday.

A group of Italian investors are set to put up a mega ultra-modern dairy project in Uasin Gishu County.

The consortium of nine Italian companies has partnered with Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) and Moi University to invest in a dairy value chain project that is expected to revolutionise the sector in the north Rift region.

The pilot project, expected to cost about Sh2 billion, will see the production of 25,000 litres of milk daily.

The project under the Sace group, the official partner for Italy’s international investment growth, will begin immediately and is expected to be completed by mid-2017. It will also see the consortium produce one megawatt of power to be used by the plant, the university and also benefit the surrounding areas.

The project, which will also produce 500kg of beef daily once completed, is set to enhance capabilities to breed cows using the most advanced international standards using the latest technologies to increase productivity in the dairy sub-sector.

A delegation of specialist officials from the Italian firms were received by KVDA management team in Eldoret on Tuesday and toured Moi University’s main campus in Kesses where the pilot project, the first of its kind in Africa, is set to be started.

Kerio Valley Development Authority Managing Director David Kimosop (right) explains a point to Italian investors Maurizio Ruggeri (second right), Guiseppe Volta (second left) and Ricardo Fanelli (left) at the Moi University Dairy Farm in Uasin Gishu yesterday. (PHOTO: KEVIN TUNOI/STANDARD)

The Sace group offers a wide range of insurance and financial products, export credit, investment protection, and operates in 189 countries across the globe. KVDA Managing Director David Kimosop said the initiative could bring in a new concept where 1,000 quality dairy cows would be reared in a 300-acre farm.

“The collaboration in the model dairy project will be a game changer in the sector. It is an ideal value chain solution that will transform livelihoods, spur economic development and also make the country food sufficient,” said Mr Kimosop.

He said they chose to partner with Moi University because of the internal need to practically train youths in the school of agriculture to embrace new technologies.

“The training will produce qualified personnel, who will contribute in building the economy through the dairy sector. The project will later be replicated in Turkana, Baringo, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Samburu, Trans Nzoia and Nakuru,” he said.