KENYA – Bidco Africa, one of East Africa’s leading consumer goods company, and Land O’Lakes, a US  farmers’ cooperative and manufacturer of animal nutrition products, have commissioned a new state of the art animal feed manufacturing plant in Kenya.

The US$11.8 million (about Ksh 1.2 billion) which factory is located in Nakuru and had been under construction for a year was opened by Kenya’s Industry and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.

 Speaking during the plant commissioning, Land O’Lakes Executive Vice President Dave Hoogmoed said they picked Kenya because of the growth of its agricultural sector.

“Here we have seen great opportunities, especially in the dairy sector whose returns are growing by the day,” said Hoogmoed.

He also noted that the new entity – Bidco Land O’Lakes – would contribute to the State’s Big Four agenda under the manufacturing pillar and would also result in the creation of thousands of jobs directly and indirectly

Bidco Africa Group Chairman Vimal Shah said the factory, which can produce 160,000 tonnes of animal feeds annually, will engage over 60,000 farmers in the next one year.

“We are beginning with between 30,000 farmers and hope to double the number in the next 12 months. Farmers shall be supplying us with raw materials, which include sunflower, maize, soya beans, among others,” Shah said.

“With quality animal feeds, farmers are assured of increased yields. This will make agriculture a more attractive and profitable venture.” 

 He said the opening up of the region offers them a ready market, noting that the quality of products remains a concern.

CS Munya urged farmers to invest in value addition, saying it would ensure better pay for their produce.

He said the government would create more trade links with other countries to make it easy for the local producers to exploit external markets.

Bidco Africa, is based in Thika, Kenya and has subsidiaries and distributorships across 17 countries in East Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa.

Its products include edible oils, fats, margarine, laundry bars and detergents, personal care products, animal feeds and most recently, Food and Beverages.

Bidco Africa owns over 40 brands and is the largest producer and marketer of consumer goods in the region.