Asian products dominate Kenyan shops as Europe brands struggle to survive
Posted Thursday, May 31 2012 at 21:56
The Sh17 billion project commissioned in March by President Kibaki in March is being financed through a concessionary loan advanced by China.
In trade, however, the local importers are divided over the quality of goods obtained from China.
“Farmers who initially buy these equipment because they are cheap rarely make repeat orders on realising they don’t last long on Africa’s difficult conditions,” said Geoffrey Nyaberi, technical and sales manager at Rhino Agrimac & Equipment Ltd.
Mr Nyaberi’s firm located on Mombasa Road supplies farm machinery and implements like ploughs, harrows, shredders, sprayers, rakes, mowers, fertiliser spreaders, harvesters, feed mixers, milking machines and balers which he mainly imports from Europe.
But Kenya can still get a beneficial lesson from its newfound economic engagement with Asia, says the World Bank.
“Kenya is globally competitive in a number of sectors–especially tea, tourism and horticulture–but it has not ventured sufficiently into new products, especially light manufacturing, where opportunities could materialise as Asia’s emerging economies start to graduate from these sectors.”