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Thika Welcomes A Ksh. 10 Million Ultramodern Facility.

Dr. Julius Kipng’etich welcoming the chief guest Dr. Shutte to the new Azuri Health factory in Thika Town.

Azuri Health Limited has launched a new Ksh. 10 million ultramodern facility in Thika Town that is poised to benefit many fruits farmers.

Working with a network of about 600 small holder farmers to provide market linkages for their produce either locally or through export, Azuri plans to use this new facility to increase its production of dried fruit and flour products from 12 to 30 tonnes annually, making it one of the largest producers of dried fruits in East Africa.

The plant, which is located just next to UTI Industry specializes in value addition of farm produce where they source raw produce from farmers and turn them into products like dried fruits and flour that attract better prices and reduce post-harvest loss.

Speaking during the launch, Azuri CEO Tei Mukunya said that their passion and commitment to improve livelihoods drove them to come up with Azuri which helps to create sustainable, competitive and profitable products

“Our main goal is to reduce post-harvest loss, a chronic problem in Africa and achieve SDG 2 - ending hunger by achieving food security and improved nutrition through proper management of harvested food. We are grateful to all our partners- who have been supportive in making the factory a success. I am thrilled that we will be using environmentally friendly technologies such as the green bio gas and solar dyer to ensure controlled and stringent quality drying,” said Mukunya.

The firm’s health chairman, Dr. Julius Kangogo Kipng’etich acknowledged that the new plant would ensure consistency in production and supply of farm products.

“The demand for dried fruit is growing especially among urban population and it is important for us to meet this demand. We thank the farmers for their support in the production of the raw materials for this enables us handle their processing, marketing, distribution and sales,” said Kipng’etich.

He urged development partners to exploit available opportunities in the country by helping other Kenyan entrepreneurs to utilise local produce, skills and labour so as to boost generation of employment and the economy.

The chief guest Dr. Shutte and the Director Messe Dusseldorf promised to continue small-scale farmers in Kenya to produce quality and quantity products through technical advice and soliciting for markets for the products.

Sonja Mattefeld, Director Africon shed tears as she recollected how she found tonnes of farm produce going waste during her research and assessment exercise. She pointed out that it was through this exercise that they opted to support this initiative by Azuri Health.   

Azuri Health Ltd was established in 2010. It commercially distributes and markets nutritious, naturally dried products from its own processing facility and those sourced from farmers as well as developing several products that are geared towards healthy eating habits among the people.

Already Azuri Health is producing 10 tons of dried fruit and 9 tonnes of flour annually for the East African Market. The company currently has 6 products, 4 for dried fruits and 2 for flour and with the new facility they will be developing a wider range of products to tackle nutrition challenges for the greater local markets and to ensure green processed foods for the export market.

It is estimated that about 1.3 billion tons of all food produced never makes it from the farm to the table. In developing countries, 50% of fruits and vegetables, 40% of roots and tubers, 20% of cereals spoil before they are consumed. This is attributed to farmers lacking the knowledge on financing and equipment to harvest, sell, and process and store the harvested crops adequately.

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