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Diamond Merchants launches greenhouse farming in Kajiado

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A greenhouse built for a client by Diamond Merchants in Bethany estate, Kajiado county.

A greenhouse built for a client by Diamond Merchants in Bethany estate, Kajiado county.

Diamond Property Merchants Limited, a real estate company recently crowned the Top 100 Midsized companies, has launched an agribusiness hub to help tackle the increasing shortage of horticultural products.

Living to their promise of offering strategic land investments, Bethany City Phase 4 in Kajiado is by far one of the largest agribusiness hubs in the region. The venture sits on 150 acres piece of land in Kajiado County. It will see investors purchase an eighth of an acre of land on which greenhouses will be constructed for them, provide full farm management, agronomical support and a ready market for the yield.

“We realised that the ever-rising prices of horticultural products is caused by a shortage of large-scale farmers resulting to a mismatch between demand and supply,” said Edwin Khiranga, Sales and Marketing Director at Diamond.

“This is why we decided to offer agribusiness and the ultimate value addition to our land buyers,” he added. The project is being managed by Nguzo International Limited, a company that is specialising in greenhouse farming. A plot at the project, which is located about 7km from Kajiado town, goes for Sh500,000 and is specifically for agribusiness investors.

It will see investors pocket Sh200,000 every season or Sh400,000 anually as a profit after deduction of production costs. Set-up costs for a single greenhouse (15 by 8 metres) are estimated at Sh320,000. The land has already been tilled, borehole water provided with complete plumbing works to every single plot.

All that is left is for the buyer to purchase the plot, pay for the greenhouse and become an urban farmer. It is estimated that a single eight by 15m greenhouse can yield an average of 5,000kgs of tomatoes or capsicum. Given a fixed buy-back price of Sh50 per kg, the expected returns per season is Sh200,000 net after deduction of recurrent expenditures.

During the launch, the company also awarded cheques worth Sh10 million to Phase One investors who have embraced the idea. “We have partnered with large scale buyers— supermarkets chains and fruit-processing factories — to ensure that there is a steady market for our products throughout the year and that our customers receive their money on time,” Khiranga said.

He urged Kenyans to stop sitting on idle land as they speculate on property prices while they can make good use of it. Rather, they need to invest in agriculture as this is the only way we can fight food insecurity, which is a major challenge in Kenya, and at the same time make money.

“People should stop fearing to invest because of the General Election but they should instead start investing now so that even after the elections, they will have something to show. It is high time we realise that Kenya is a peaceful country and election fears should end,” he said.

Khiranga added that anyone can become part of this successful story by simply texting KILIMO to 22002. “Affordable housing is our next focus for 2017,” he said. Formed in the year 2000, Diamond Property Merchants key focus is providing Kenyans with strategic property investment solutions.

It was the first company to incorporate the greenhouse concept. With home ownership being a major challenge in the urban areas, Diamond Properties is projecting to settle over 10,000 Kenyans as homeowners through its affordable housing projects.

Last year, the Diamond Merchants emerged as the top company in the Ninth Edition of the Business Daily-KPMG Top 100 Mid Size Companies Award. “We are a reliable and professional institution, that values honesty, integrity and service delivery,” Khiranga told the People Daily soon after the launch of the Bethany Phase 4 greenhouse project.

 

-www.mediamaxnetwork.co.ke

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