Twiga Foods Limited has announced the transfer of its rights to the development of the Galana Kulalu Food Security Project to Selu Limited, a company established to develop, manage and operate the project.
Selu is a Special Purpose Vehicle comprising a partnership by several companies, among them Campos, a farm management company overseeing over 600,000 acres of farmland in Latin America in a similar climate to Kenya and AgCo, a United States-based global leader in precision agriculture technology.
Twiga Foods Managing Director Peter Njonjo said Selu Limited is the best fit to manage the next stage of the project, which is to develop it further, manage and then operate it. “This strategic move marks a significant step towards maximizing the impact of Galana Kulalu and accelerating its positive impact on the Kenyan agricultural landscape,” Mr Njonjo.
Selu is currently undertaking the development phase covering 500 acres and targeting to achieve above 9 metric tonnes of maize per hectare, 4.5 times the Kenyan average yield of about 2 metric tons per hectare. The global average yields between 5 to 6 metric tonnes per hectare. The Galana Kulalu farm had yielded about 7.2 metric tonnes per hectare in past trials.
“We are committed to implementing innovative strategies and leveraging state-of-the-art infrastructure to optimize efficiency and productivity. With a strong emphasis on sustainability, Selu aims to positively disrupt the agricultural sector in collaboration with key stakeholders to ensure we make a meaningful impact on food security.”
The development of the Galana-Kulalu project is under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the Government of Kenya.
Mr Christopher Kirigua, Director-General of Private-Public Partnerships, said Kenya has a strong PPP framework which is an enabler for the private sector to identify and grow critical industries which can drive rapid transformation and help the government achieve its commitments to the Public.
Selu has also partnered with reputable seed, fertilizer, and other farming input providers to achieve optimal yields and produce safe, high-quality maize to enable access to high-quality maize seed varieties and fertilizer.
Planting for the trial phase has kicked off and the maize is expected to grow over the next four months to determine the inputs that will be best for the commercial planting. The trial phase will determine the maize variety, fertilizer regime, plant spacing and population, best crop protection regime and the best soil improvement regime suited for Galana.
The company aims to prioritize environmental sustainability by incorporating rotational crops, such as castor oil, which offer the additional benefit of reducing the project’s carbon footprint while generating renewable energy from biomass waste.
With a targeted start of commercial operations in the 4th quarter of this year, Selu will invest in the development of the 20,000 acres that is currently feasible based on available water from the Galana River throughout the year.
As the Government of Kenya embarks on developing a dam on the Galana River to capture run-off during the rainy season and maximize irrigation potential, the scope of the project will be scaled to 100,000 acres, and this will generate annual production equivalent to the average maize deficit in Kenya over the last 5 years and over 10% of the country’s annual production.