- Bidco Africa wants to work with farmers in Kenya to meet its growing demand for some of its crucial raw materials
- The giant manufacturer and marketer of a variety of products including cooking oil said it wants suppliers of soybeans and sunflower seeds amid the rising demand for its products
- The Kenyan-based company said it is seeking partners to supply them with 30,000 metric tons of the products
- Bidco revealed that it was already working with 25,000 farmers across the east African region, but that high demand for the products had led to a decrease in its supplies
Bidco Africa said it is looking to work with farmers in Kenya to meet its growing demand for some of its crucial raw materials.
On February 19, 2023, Bidco Africa, a giant manufacturer and marketer of a variety of products including cooking oil, said it wants suppliers of soybeans and sunflower seeds amid the rising demand for its products. Bidco Africa makes and sells edible fats and cooking oils, beverages, instant noodles, and home and personal care products.
In a statement, the Kenyan-based company said it is seeking to contract partners to supply them with 30,000 metric tons of the products.
Farming soybeans and sunflower seeds in Kenya
Bidco revealed that it was already working with 25,000 farmers across the east African region, but that high demand for the products had led to a decrease in its supplies. The company said it uses soybeans and sunflower seeds to manufacture products including SunGold Lite and Kimbo.
“We not only offer local farmers a ready market for their products at competitive market prices; together with our partners, we train, equip and empower smallholder farmers with Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) to improve their yields and ultimately assure them of maximum value that puts more money into their pockets.”
Previously, Bidco Africa said it is ready to offer farmers of soybeans and sunflower seeds a ready market for their products at competitive market prices. The company said its goal remains to help to raise the living standards of small-scale farmers by assuring them of a sustainable and ready market for their produce.
Bidco Africa also revealed that it trains farmers in the production of oil seeds, which improves their yields and ultimately increases their incomes.
Farmers growing bamboo
The company also contracts farmers to grow and supply bamboo to power its factories in Thika and Ruiru.
The firm, with a presence in 16 countries, said it uses more than 200 tonnes of macadamia and coffee husks per month to generate power.
The supply of macadamia and coffee husks is, however, erratic and unsustainable. “The company estimates it will require 6,000 tonnes a month to meet its energy needs,” it said on its website.
Bidco Africa has also entered into strategic partnerships to support thousands of youth entrepreneurs including women take advantage of agri-business opportunities.
In a separate story, maize farmers at the Tana Irrigation Scheme in Kenya are venturing into contracted sunflower farming as a result of its high returns.
As reported by KNA in September 2022, more than 300 acres in the scheme are farming sunflowers seeds. The plant was first introduced to farmers at the scheme by a Non-Governmental Organization, World Concern.
Sunflower is used in the manufacture of edible oils, soaps and animal feeds.
The Sunflower farmers have signed a contract with Rafiki Pay Company located in Thika. They purchase one kilogram at KSh 50 from the farmers. One acre yields between 1200-1500 kilograms of seeds.
Separately, farmers in Migori County were recently asked to plant soybean as a cash crop to meet the increasing demand for the crop in the country.
Isaac Odero, a soya bean farmer in Migori told KNA that there are several groups within the county doing aggregation of soya beans due to the high demand for the crop in the market.
“As soya bean farmers, we aggregate produce from the farmers together so that they can have a collective bargaining power and avoid exploitation by middlemen in the market,” said Odero.
He however noted that the production of the crop in Migori cannot meet the demand for the market now hence the need for farmers to produce more soya beans that will meet the demand of residents in Migori and neighbouring counties such as Kisii and Homa bay.