KENYA – The Kenyan government is gearing up to leverage the extensive network of local cooperatives to establish Kenya as a prominent player in the production and export of superfoods, confirmed Cabinet Secretary for Co-operatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Simon Chelugui.

Chelugui revealed that the government is targeting the USD 171.8 billion global superfoods market as part of its agricultural transformation agenda under the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

This initiative aims to bolster sustainable agricultural value chains and facilitate global market access for Kenyan Avocado, Macadamia, and Blueberry farmers, utilizing the cooperative societies and MSMEs.

During a visit to the orchards and Packhouse of Kakuzi Plc, a listed agribusiness and superfoods producer in Murang’a County, Chelugui emphasized the importance of tapping into the increasing demand for superfoods worldwide.

Superfoods, known for their rich nutritional content including dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and complex carbohydrates, have witnessed a surge in demand globally.

Additionally, they offer various health benefits such as improving digestion, regulating blood glucose levels, reducing inflammation, and preventing chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Research conducted by the IMARC Group indicates that the global superfoods market reached USD 171.8 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.6% to reach USD 262.3 billion by 2032.

Factors such as the rising popularity of superfood-infused snacks, increased adoption of veganism and vegetarianism, and a growing focus on preventive healthcare measures are driving this growth.

Recognizing the immense market potential, the government plans to establish public-private partnerships with leading growers like Kakuzi to provide technical capacity building for local farmers within the cooperative movement.

Chelugui expressed confidence in Kenya’s capability to excel in producing superfoods, particularly Avocado, Macadamia, and Blueberries.

He highlighted Kenya’s current standing as the fifth-largest exporter of avocados and emphasized the need to uphold global standards in crop husbandry, traceability, and sustainability to maintain Kenya’s reputation in the international market.

Furthermore, Chelugui stressed the importance of cooperative societies and MSMEs in seizing this opportunity, advocating for learning opportunities and partnerships with established players like Kakuzi.

These partnerships would involve capacity building in areas such as farmer training, marketing, and extension services to elevate Kenya’s status as a quality superfoods producer and exporter.

Chris Flowers, Managing Director of Kakuzi PLC, welcomed Chelugui and his delegation, underscoring Kakuzi’s significant role as the largest producer of avocados and macadamia nuts in Kenya.

Kakuzi currently accounts for approximately 12% of all avocados exported from Kenya, illustrating its substantial contribution to the country’s superfoods sector.

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