Africa Plantation Capital expands Kenyan operations
Africa Plantation Capital, one of the APC Group's associated companies, has now expanded its operations in Kenya with the acquisition of one more large piece of land for the creation of Phase 2 of its high value bamboo plantation operations.
Africa Plantation Capital has been operating successfully in Kenya over the past 18 months, with the establishment of Phase 1 of its state of the art bamboo plantations in Kilifi County. Africa Plantation Capital is also managing two bamboo arboretums, and has started a river bank conservation project in Busia County as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. The company is currently operating five offices and two nurseries.
Today, some of the most prominent and respected Kenyans are part of the Africa Plantation Capital family, which now has more than 100 full-time, permanent staff, and more than 150 casual workers carrying out their duties on its operations.
The plantation management team — which includes six agronomists (among other experienced professionals) led by the Africa Plantation Capital Management Director R Kirui — has established the first fully irrigated and 24/7-monitored bamboo plantation in the region, achieving fast growth, and creating the foundation for maximum yields.
All operations are coordinated by Africa Plantation Capital's International Plantation Management team, with Robin Jewer leading the Group's global operations.
"At the beginning of the project, Africa Plantation Capital signed an MOU with KEFRI securing the best available local expertise on bamboo plantation management," said Mr. Kelvin Kaloki, Africa Plantation Capital's East Africa Regional Business Development Director. "The initial decision has proven to be an excellent one, as it has provided added value to our operations, and the combination of resources has ensured that we are exactly where we need to be at this stage of our venture."
"The partnership between KEFRI and Africa Plantation Capital has actualized the commercialization of the research efforts," said Dr. Ben Chikamai, Director, KEFRI, in his latest project appraisal. "This green investment project is realizing that bamboo forests have many environmental benefits through biodiversity, conservation and purification, as well as being effective in regulating the environment."
"KEFRI is pleased that Africa Plantation Capital has completed the first phase of their project," Dr. Chikamai concluded, "thereby changing the livelihoods of the local community by providing employment. KEFRI has been providing technical support as well as planting material to Africa Plantation Capital in this noble endeavor for industrial development and environmental conservation. KEFRI will continue to provide technical support and planting material to ensure maximum returns from the plantations."
From inception, it has been the Group's policy to invest in research and development, and examine the latest technologies in order to create new products and markets. In line with this policy, Africa Plantation Capital, together with KEFRI, is now ready to start a pilot programme to study the possibility of growing agarwood in the coastal region.
After working together for some months, the two institutions are now in the final stages of efforts to import seeds from Africa Plantation Capital's operations in Asia, and start an exciting and innovative project that could open new horizons in Kenya's sustainable agroforestry sector. This will go a long way to establishing a new market with excellent potential returns.
Mr. Kosta Kioleoglou, Africa Plantation Capital's Regional Managing Director, stated that despite the challenges faced at the start of its operations in the region, the company's growth has been remarkable and even exceeded initial expectations. "We are now focusing on building on the success of Phase 1, and we aim to do this by keeping to our initial targets. This is all part of our five-year plan, and from the success we have already achieved, we feel ready to expand in the region. Uganda and Rwanda are the countries that will follow our achievements in Kenya, and we have already started setting up the processes to facilitate this. For now, though, we hope that the upcoming election period will end without problems for the country, and that we will be able to continue on course without distractions and further local disturbances."
The APC Group's CEO, Gary Crates, expressed his delight at the great work the Africa Plantation Capital team has done so far in Kenya, and stated that the Group will fully support the East Africa Region Operations in order to sustain Africa Plantation Capital's leading position in the regional plantation industry.
Africa Plantation Capital is leading the way in sustainable plantation management, establishing top quality bamboo plantations, fully licensed by NEMA, WARMA and all relevant Kenyan authorities.
Africa Plantation Capital is now ready to start operating under the ISO 9001/2015 standards for 'Quality Plantation Management' by UKAS, after the conclusion of the certification process of auditing from Bureau Veritas. For its progress and contribution to business and development in the region, Africa Plantation Capital garnered the 'New Business of The Year, 2016' award, conferred by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, adding one more accolade to the APC Group's ever-expanding collection. It gives the company and everyone associated with it a great deal of pleasure to see our vision for Kenyabeing realized and our mission statement being carried out.