NAIROBI, KENYA, APR 2018 — The Kenyan dairy market is set for a major paradigm shift with the entry of Polish technology in the country, as the European state partners with the government to boost output in the sector.
Polish company- FASPOL SP.Z.O.O is installing 350 ultra-modern milk cooling machines in the country, aimed at improving milk processing and handling along the value chain.
The project which is currently underway was initiated by the government of Kenya in December last year, with an investment tag of $22.5 million (about Ksh2.27 billion) targeting milk producing counties.
According to Faspol CEO Marcin Kaleta, the company has already shipped 180 out of the 350 coolers, with more than 50 coolers already installed.
“Every installation can freeze 3,000 litres of milk in two hours. Generally every cooler will freeze 6,000 litres of milk daily,” Kaleta said “It means, that 350 installations has daily capacity of 2.1 million liters of milk daily.”
The official deadline for the project according to the contract is June 2019, but Faspol is optimistic it can complete setting up the coolers eight months earlier.
“We will close this project on October 2018,” Kaleta said in an interview.
Farmers in Embu and Uasin Gishu counties, among the 35 targeted counties, have already benefited from the project having received the coolers last year.
The project also includes installation of solar water heaters, 30 kVA power generators, two condensing units per cooler and stainless steel equipment like flow meter.
The industrial, agriculture and food manufacturing focused firm has also set up the Faspol East Africa LTD, which focuses on food processing and food storage in general.
The company offers milk chilling and bulking facilities, milking machines, liquid nitrogen plant, milk quality testing machines, cold storage facilities for meat, fish, potatoes and horticultural produce as well as embryo transfer equipment, grain storage silos and mobile grain driers.
“We have wide variety of machines in our offer,” the CEO said adding the company has chosen Kenya because of its potential to grow.
“Kenya is a very good market for Polish companies. We truly believe that Kenya is developing very much and we want to be part of it with our good products,” Kaleta said.
Kenya has 47 counties where agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, industrial manufacturing, energy, tourism and financial services are major economic activities.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is counting on the investment in the dairy sub-sector to improve earnings for farmers and the agriculture sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.
Apart from the dairy sub-sector benefitting from equipment and expert training from Poland, the country will gain from a $100.9 million concessional loan for a food security programme.
The dairy project is aimed at helping the country follow in the footsteps and success story of Poland, which is the second biggest dairy market in Europe.
Its dairy sector has flourished under cooperatives, a similar module being used in Kenya.
The Polish embassy in Kenya recently said its government plans to instill a new way of handling the dairy sector, with a five year plan that will substantially improve the lives of farmers and benefit the country at large.
Meanwhile, the Polish government has set up a trade office in Nairobi, Kenya’s Capital, as it seeks to deepen trade and bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Nairobi office is also Poland’s landmark as it works towards cementing its position in the East Africa region, as Kenya remains a strategic entry point for multi-nationals.
Located in the fast growing Upper Hill area , Flamingo Tower- 5th Floor, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH) is focused on generating mutually-benefiting business and investment projects in Kenya on which Polish entrepreneurs can partner with Kenyans to realize them.
The agency is running investment and trade activities for the Ministry of Development of the Republic of Poland.
The office also provides support for Polish exporters and investors who are looking for new business opportunities in Eastern Africa region.
PAIH assists entrepreneurs who want to invest and do business in Poland, help entrepreneurs from both sides to get a reliable business partner, offer investment advisory and financial support through the Polish Development Fund.
PAIH’s Nairobi Office was registered in February 2017 and became fully operational July 2017.
Technically the office has been operating in Kenya for only eight months but has already brought in 25 Polish companies to visit Kenya, including accommodating numerous business trips from Poland to Kenya.
According to PAIH’s Nairobi Bureau Chief Michael Mazurewicz, the entity has also registered seven new companies in Kenya with Polish partners.
“Several companies have already started distribution network sales in the region. Others are gearing for new investment opportunities. Our office closely cooperates with Kenya Investment Authority,” Mazurewicz said.
“We strongly believe that Kenya is rightfully positioned in terms of geography, legislature and infrastructure and market dynamics to become the economic hub for East Africa. We strongly believe in Kenya’s ambitious goals in setting up the country to become a regional driver for industrialization,” he added.
Poland underwent a major restructuring and re-industrialization programme in the 90s and 2000s, which led Poland to become a so-called “developed country”, no longer a “developing country”.
Its success story and experience could help Kenya achieve its vision 2030, and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ambitious BIG FOUR plan which focuses on food security, industrialization, affordable housing and universal healthcare.
“We believe we have the potential to become a trusted partner for economic progress in Kenya,” said Mazurewicz, affirming his country’s support for the Big Four.
He said the Trade Agency’s Nairobi Office is currently preparing a comprehensive strategy to drive Polish companies in focusing on Kenya as a regional leader in the food industry and also promote viable solutions to affordable housing and affordable healthcare markets.
“Currently we are in communication with over 100 Polish and over 100 Kenyan companies. Investment negotiations are ongoing as we speak. Our Office may not disclose any details yet. However, we are confident today that several projects will come to light in the following months,” Mazurewicz said.
Kenya-Poland relations and trade
Diplomatic relations between Poland and Kenya were established at independence in 1963. The Polish Embassy in Nairobi was opened a year later in 1964.
Though Kenya is yet to establish an embassy in Poland, the two countries have enjoyed good relations with coordination from the Kenyan ambassador in Rome who is accredited to Poland.
The value of Kenya’s imports from Poland stood at $78.40 million in 2015 and $28.67 million in the first half of last year.
During a similar period, exports to Poland were worth $31.49 million and $14.76 million respectively.
In June 2014, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding to boost bi-lateral trade ties.
The agreement which was reached between the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry and its Polish counterpart was meant to give Polish investors trade incentives in Kenya while allowing more exports to Poland.
The deal was signed in the presence of 18 Polish investors who were visiting Kenya who expressed interest in the country’s agriculture, mining and pharmaceutical sectors.
Apart from Trade, Kenya has been a tourist destination for Polish citizens for decades.
The government, through the Kenya Tourism Board, has been running tourism campaigns in Poland in a bid to attract more polish tourists into the country.
More investments and partnership will be a major boost for Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is worth slightly above US$70.53 billion.
Last year, Kenya moved 12 places in the Ease of Doing Business-World Bank ranking- to position 80 globally out of 190 countries compared to position 92 the previous year.
The government has been implementing an open door policy in a bid to attract more investments, as it continues to improve the ease of doing business in the country.