Boost for Kiambu farmers as new cold storage facilities unveiled in Ruiru

Farmers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kiambu County are set to benefit following the unveiling of multi-billion storage facilities at Tatu City in Ruiru.

The state-of-the-art temperature-controlled warehouse facilities put up by Cold Solutions East Africa Limited will mainly benefit farmers dealing with perishable farm produce for both local and export markets.

The Company CEO Grant Ochieng’ noted that they are focusing on providing cold storage solutions to sectors that include fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry, meat products, sea foods, pharmaceuticals, Quick Service restaurants and supermarkets.

Speaking during the official opening ceremony of the facility on Wednesday, Ochieng’ averred that the facility will go a long way in empowering local agriculture and enhancing food security in the country by addressing zero-rating harvest losses.

“The facility integrates advanced cold chain solutions, minimizing post-harvest losses and ensuring secure and efficient transportation of agricultural products. We are introducing cutting-edge solutions for safe and efficient transportation, contributing to a sustainable and efficient food supply chain,” he said.

The CEO also noted that the facility will revolutionalize storage and haulage of pharmaceuticals.

“The facility plays a pivotal role in transforming cold chain logistics for health and pharmaceuticals, ensuring precision and care in delivering crucial healthcare products,” he said.

Ochieng’, who revealed that the warehouses are built in conformity with international standards and in adherence to environmental responsibility, said that the one-of-a-kind facility is their flagship project as they seek to spread their roots across East African countries including Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

“This project embodies innovation and sustainability and this is why we are keen on building a comprehensive cold-chain network across East Africa. We are committed to offering a one-stop shop cold chain solution to our clients and we believe that this is a catalyst for economic growth,” he noted.

The CEO’s sentiments were echoed by Joseph Nguyo, the Senior Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry who termed the project as a pivotal milestone in implementation of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) program, which is poised to spur the country’s economy.

While reiterating that provision of cold solutions will significantly impact the country’s food security agenda, Nguyo asserted that recent studies have indicated that the country loses 40 percent of harvest to poor post-harvest practices.

“The Economic Survey of 2023 indicated that the contribution of the agriculture sector to the country’s GDP declined slightly from 22.2 percent to 21.5 percent. This can be attributed to the post-harvest losses. Therefore anybody helping salvage or improve the situation is our partner,” Nguyo said.

He hailed Cold Solution East Africa for complementing the government’s agendas including realization of the Universal Health Care (UHC) by providing solutions to storage of pharmaceuticals.

Nguyo also indicated that the firm will employ 150 workers and thousands more through its value chain and thereby assist the government beat unemployment especially among the majority of educated youths.

Fred Kambo, the Managing Director of Arch Emerging Partners and a key figure in the ARCH Cold Chain Solutions East Africa Fund, noted that they are committed to environmental responsibility, economic growth and offering a one-stop-shop for cold chain solutions.

“Our logistics strategy is about providing food security, improving pharmaceutical access, and uplifting the livelihoods of all our economic stakeholders. We are dedicated to change, progress, and sustainability,” Kambo said.

By Kamau Njoroge

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