INVESTING IN LAIKIPIA
PROCESSING AND MANUFACTURING
The county has immense potential in manufacturing and industrial processing. The existing industrial activities are concentrated in Nanyuki and Nyahururu towns. Opportunities abound in meat, leather and food processing. Industrial processing is minimal in Nanyuki and Nyahururu towns with the main ones being milk processors, New KCC and Countryside Dairies.
There is only one commercial meat processor in Rumuruti town Ngare Narok Meat Industries. Other small firms in the two towns include two bakeries, four millings plants and one milk cooling plant and small timber manufacturing entities.
There are seven Jua kali associations with 255 artisans who are involved in welding, fabrication, carpentry among other activities.
There are various industrial potentials that have been identified and need to be exploited considering that there is supportive infrastructure like electricity, water and all-weather roads across the county.
Industrial processing is minimal with milk plants and grain milling being the major firms. Storage and distribution of petroleum products is also undertaken at a low scale. Alcoholic drinks processing is also an activity in Nanyuki. To promote manufacturing and processing across the county the county government of Laikipia has made deliberate efforts to assist local innovators upscale their innovations to production. On May 30 and 31st, the county government held its inaugural Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair which brought together 205 innovators from the different parts of the county. The fair also brought 15 partners representing different institutions who promised to partner with the county government to ensure all the innovators acquire training and support. The aim was to establish original Laikipia brands, link the bearer innovators to market and financiers as well as guiding them on patenting.
The focus should be on upscaling the production, processing and value addition of agricultural products mainly maize, wheat, beans, pineapples, sunflowers, French beans and citrus fruits among others.
There is a lot of potential in production, processing and value addition of livestock products mainly milk, hides, skins and meat as well as in production, processing and marketing of medicinal plants such as Aloe and African wild potato. Aloe and African wild potato are grown in small portions and have not been commercially
Exploited for final products. Nevertheless, initiatives by self-help groups are in place towards
Exploitation of Aloe.
Lastly, bee honey and wax production and processing within Rumuruti, Lariak, Marmanet, Mukogodo forests and fish farming in existing ponds (dams, pans).
In Nanyuki we have got also an eco-fuel company which produces energy and agricultural products for agricultural and industrial customers through a no-waste manufacturing process based entirely on the croton nut, which grows indigenously across Kenya. The company sources the croton nut from local communities through our proprietary collection network. The flagship product, croton nut oil, is consumed by local SMEs who use it as a bio fuel to run off-grid generators due to lack of reliable grid energy. Organic fertilizer, made from the waste of the oil pressing, is sold to farms to restore souls depleted from todays chemical based intensive agriculture.
Nyahururu town came about due to the Thomson falls in the nearby Ewaso Nyiro River. Because of dairy farming activities in the area, the town is an important player in the milk processing sector. Nyahururu is also known for its large production and trading of fresh farm produce like peas, potatoes and carrots which are then transported for sale in major towns.
Horticultural production and processing is a major economic activity in Laikipia County. Horticulture is one of the four County's economic pillars .The others being Tourism, Cereals production and Livestock production. Horticultural produce is marketed locally and also exported outside the country through exporting companies like AAA growers, Frigoken, Homegrown among others
The annual income from the Horticulture/Floriculture farming in the County is estimated to be in excess of Kshs 1.3billon.
About 30% of the small scale farmers are engaged in the horticultural farming.
Major horticultural crops include tomatoes, Potatoes, cabbages, watermelons, kales, spinach, courgettes, butter nuts, capsicum, onions, carrots, chilies, French beans and snow peas among others
There is emerging trend of increased floriculture and horticulture production both at large scale and small-scale levels.
This involves the production of cut flowers, tomatoes French beans, snow peas chilies and water melons.
There are also pockets of pineapple, avocados, oranges and macadamia nuts farms in the County.
Perennial crops include fruits like mangoes, oranges, pineapples, lemon and avocadoes among others.
Most of the horticultural crops are grown under irrigation using the few rivers in the county and water harvested through water pans and dams whereas perennial crops are normally rain fed.
Opportunities in Horticulture Sub sector
This will involve setting up small to medium scale industries for value addition in several agricultural commodities including potatoes and fruits. There is huge potential in vegetable oil production as well as fruits concentrates.
To ensure the County has high farm yield, investing in production of high-quality seeds production and on new varieties that commercially has high potential for private sector investment.
Creation of new markets; There is need for proactive efforts to maintain existing markets while creating new ones and increasing the bargaining power in the global markets.
Development of large-scale commercial irrigation projects.
Expansion of water harvesting, storage and supply for horticultural crops irrigation.
Horticulture farming has a huge unexploited potential in Laikipia County
There is enormous business opportunities in whole value chains for both floriculture and horticulture farming in the County which needs to be taken up and invested in them.
There is need to have marketing organizations/processing of horticultural produce as these will open up the horticulture farming due to ready markets /processing activities.
There is need to strengthen more on the Public Private Partnerships in order to realize and achieve the full potential of horticulture farming in the County.
SOLAR POWER ENERGY
Laikipia county geographical location on the equator make it ideal for solar power production. Kenergy is the only firm that has invested in a large-scale solar farm in Rumuruti
INVESTMENT IN HOSPITALITY SECTOR
Tourism and Wildlife
Main Tourist Attractions and Activities Major tourist attractions are wildlife, landscapes, unique local cultural practices, and the Thomson Falls. The proximity to Mt. Kenya, Meru, Aberdares and Samburu game parks have greatly boosted tourism within the county through provision of hospitality services to the tourists. The annual sports events also contribute to tourism in Laikipia
There are 90 registered hotels and lodges with a total bed capacity of 1,800. Of these only are 7 are classified in the range of 1-5 stars.
INVESTMENT IN MINING AND EXTRACTION
The common extractive activity in the county consists of red sand harvesting along riverbeds in Laikipia North. Excavation of gravel and murram for road construction is also common. Crushing of ballast is also an important activity within the county. There lays great potential of ballast and sand harvesting for construction industry and use of concrete blocks. There exists one under-utilized crushing plant at Nanyuki. There is need to explore on other potential minerals in the county.
TYPES AND NUMBERS OF BUSINESSES
The major type businesses are wholesale and retail enterprises totaling to 119 and 96 respectively mainly in trading centers aross the County. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Laikipia County has estimated 13,600-licensed MSMEs and 52,400 unlicensed MSMEs totaling to 66,000. These are in agriculture and forestry, whole sale trade, retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, repair of motor cycles, accommodation and food services, construction, information and communication, arts and music, professional and technical services.
BLUE ECONOMY AND FISHERIES
Fishing activities are carried out in ponds, rivers and water reservoirs. The main activities are in
900 ponds, 125 water reservoirs and one fingerling multiplication farm. The main species produced are Catfish and Tilapia.
Number of Financial Institutions
Laikipia is served by 16 banks, 2 microfinance institutions and 15 insurance companies operating within Nanyuki and Nyahururu townships. There are 117 SACCOs with 3 FOSAs in Laikipia and 3 main mobile money service providers. Agricultural Finance Corporation runs two branches in Nanyuki and Nyahururu.