NAIROBI, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) – Orion Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Ltd, a newly established pyrethrum processing company in Kenya has announced that it is seeking investment partners on production, financing and export of processed pyrethrum products.
The company says it is seeking partners in private and public sectors to take opportunity of the new government efforts to revive pyrethrum farming and the growing demand of pyrethrum products because they are environmentally friendly. Pyrethrum is the natural ingredient for manufacture of insecticides and pesticides.
“This is the best opportunity for those who have solid ideas on how to uplift the industry to come join us by expressing their interest. We plan to start operations early 2012 so we need partners to express interest by mid-January,” The firm’s Managing Director, Ruo Maina told Xinhua in an interview in Nairobi on Wednesday. Kenya is the world’s biggest producer of pyrethrum contributing about 80 percent of the world production, according to Kenya’s Export Promotion Council.
Demand for the product across the world has been increasing due to the increased awareness on environmental pollution of synthetic substitutes that contribute to climate change. Ministry of Agriculture statistics indicate that annual pyrethrum production in Kenya averages between 3,000 to 6,000 tonnes and 150 tonnes of pyrethrum, the natural organic compound extracted from pyrethrum. The pesthrin flower processing business is estimated at about 100 million U.S. dollars per year and benefits over 500,000 small- scale farmers in the East Africa region.
In Kenya, it is estimated that it has potential to earn foreign exchange of 135 million dollars every year. Kenya mainly exports pyrethrum extracts to the United States (39 percent), Britain (14 percent) and the rest to Germany, and Japan among other countries. It also exports finished products like mosquito coils, insecticide aerosols, mosquito repellent vapour mats, rodenticides, acaricides used for control of animal pests and agricultural pesticides to the regional markets like Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Mauritius and South Africa.
“We have some of the best conditions for growing the plant here in East Africa and we are calling upon all those who are willing to partner with us in this venture to express their interest,” said Maina. “Our focus is the East Africa market the European Union, China and Brazil.” Orion EPZ Ltd is licensed to operate the business of manufactures of plant health products including pesthrin public health, pesthrin agriculture, pesthrin livestock, bropen, alfix, aminocop, and any other similar products for export according to the provisions of the Exports Processing Zones (EPZ) Act.
Being an EPZ company means that investors in the company will enjoy incentives like 10 year corporate income tax holiday and a 25 percent tax rate for a further 10 years thereafter, 10 year withholding tax holiday on dividends and other remittances to non- resident parties, perpetual exemption from VAT and customs import duty raw materials, machinery, office equipment, and perpetual exemption from payment of stamp duty on legal instruments.
Currently, marketing of Pyrethrum in Kenya is under the direct control of the Government through the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya, whose mandate is to register and license growers and to control production, extraction and marketing of pyrethrum. It is also marketed through licensed marketing agencies based in Europe. There have been calls to liberalize the sector but a government sponsored Bill proposing reforms is yet to be tabled in parliament. Once the sector is liberalized, farmers will be able to source for competitive markets.(Xinhua)