Market News

Dubai firm eyes more vegetables from Kenya


Samuel Maina, A vegetable farmer in Murang'a County at his farm. PHOTO | CAROLINE WAMBUI | NMG

Dubai-based agro-commodities firm and distributor Armela Farms plans to double the amount of vegetables and fruits it imports from Kenya by inking new supply deals with local producers.

The firm, which was founded by the family of Kenyan entrepreneur Kanti Shah, said it would raise its weekly imports quantity of baby spinach, avocados, strawberries and herbs from the current 2.5 tonnes to five tonnes.

They previously owned Nakuru-based Menengai Oil Refineries, which was sold to the Rai Group in 2011. The firm, which also produces hydroponic-grown lettuce in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), partnered with Naivasha-based VegPro to boost its product range.

Armela Farms director Rachan Shah told the Business Daily that the Kenyan products will be supplied to local retail chains and restaurants in Dubai.

“We are planning to add more products from Kenya. We are working with a grower there to add baby spinach, avocados, strawberries, berries, among others, to our product range,” said Ms Shah.

However, she said farmers hoping to ink partnerships with the firm should meet strict quality standards to access the UAE market.

“Since we are supplying a supermarket here, we need reliable suppliers and consistency,” she said.

The firm hopes to sign partnerships with Kenyan agricultural firms participating in the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai.

Kenya is among 192 countries that are showcasing their wide array of products such as apparel, avocados, bulk black tea, cut flower, goat meat, vegetable, coffee and textiles, among others at the expo that started in October 2020 and will end in March next year.

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