Kakuzi eyes hotels in goat meat venture

Kakuzi offices in Murang'a County

The entrance to Kakuzi offices in Murang'a County on October 14, 2020. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Agricultural firm Kakuzi has started rearing goats, aiming to supply meat from the animals to hotels and restaurants by June as part of its expansion and diversification strategy.

The company aims to meet the demand for quality meat that can also be traced across the supply chain to the farm.

Traceability helps in guaranteeing the quality of food, providing accurate information to consumers, and maintaining safety.

“Albeit small, we embarked on a dedicated goat meat production venture, and we anticipate sales to begin in the second quarter of 2022,” Kakuzi says in its latest annual report.

“This venture aims to provide quality traceable goat meat for the hotel, restaurant, and café market.”

Most of the meat sold in the country is not traceable and is sourced from different suppliers or bought from slaughterhouses.

Kenya’s red meat sector is comprised of beef, mutton, goat, and camel meat. An estimated two-thirds of the red meat is produced in the arid and semi-arid lands under pastoral production system.

Besides goat rearing, Kakuzi is also scaling up its production of avocado and macadamia in a big bet on the commodities whose demand is growing in the international markets.

“The continued expansion of both our avocado and macadamia production is in full swing. By the end of 2021, our avocado and macadamia orchards covered 927 hectares (ha) and 1,032 ha respectively,” the company said.

“In 2022 a further 60 ha of avocados and 100 ha of macadamias will be established. We anticipate that by 2026 all the land previously under pineapple production will have been converted to these two crops.”

Kakuzi is set to pay a record dividend of Sh431.1 million or Sh22 per share for the year ended December when its net profit dropped by nearly half on lower revenue from avocado.

The payout represents a 22.2 percent increase from the Sh352.7 million or Sh18 per share paid for the prior financial year which was also a record.

The new dividend will be distributed on June 30 to shareholders on record as of May 31.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm reported a net profit of Sh319.7 million in the review period, down from Sh622 million the year before.

The reduced profitability was mainly on account of sales falling 8.6 percent to Sh3.2 billion.

Kakuzi joins banks among publicly-traded firms that have announced record dividends, setting up shareholders for higher income after most listed companies suspended or reduced payout in the previous two years as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded.