KENYA – German outdoor power tools manufacturer Stihl has injected KSh500 million (US$4.17m) into its new Nairobi hub in a bid to support small-scale farmers acquire farming equipment in Kenya and East Africa at large.

The manufacturer of various agro equipment and forest equipment noted that with a majority of Africans engaging in agriculture as their source of livelihood, the affordability of equipment has hindered them from harnessing their full potential.

Stihl East Africa Managing Director (MD) Francois Marais said they have invested in affordable equipment for farmers to enable them to unlock the potential that agriculture has.

“At Stihl, we believe that the mechanization threshold than a farmer just buying a tractor and plough. And therefore, we have developed a range of products that bring mechanization to farmers for less than KSh100,000 (US$834). This will help East Africa’s agricultural potential,” he stated.

Among the equipment the firm is offering, specifically tailored for smallholder farmers include tillers, mist blowers, sprayers and water pumps.

The firm has also affirmed that it will not only just be selling its products only but it will also offer both theoretical and practical education to its customers on how the various equipment works at their now opened Nairobi hub.

“We also have theoretical training facilities onsite which can handle groups of up to 30 people to train them on the various products features and benefits that Stihl products offer our customers,” said Maeais.

The firm has also assured its customers of high-quality products in addition to an expedited repair process in case of a malfunction of a product purchased.

The company which has been in existence since 1926 has been in East Africa since 2017 and is in plans to expand to Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“This is really a start, and what we have now started in Kenya will also be done in the coming years in the neighbouring countries in East Africa,” said Marais.

Tononoka Rolling Mills to construct plant in Nairobi

Tononoka Rolling Mills Limited has laid plans to construct a KSh393 million (US$3.28m) plant in Nairobi’s Dandora Phase 5 area as it seeks to grow its market share in the local steel manufacturing market.

The proposed installation of a hot structural section mill will be set up in an area zoned for industrial use and currently features an existing rolling mill, office block, and fuel storage facility.

With an expected output of 20 tonnes per hour, the firm which began in the 1980s as a hardware dealer is targeting to bridge the country’s annual demand for steel which is estimated at between 480,000 tonnes to 600,000 tonnes.

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