Uganda land deal boost for Centum

Two Rivers Mall on Limuru Road. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Two Rivers Mall on Limuru Road. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Centum Investment #ticker:ICDC has acquired 14,000 acres of land in Uganda on which it plans to grow maize and soya beans in a bid to expand its agriculture portfolio.

This follows its earlier purchase of 120 acres of land in Ol Kalao, Nyandarua, for production of exotic herbs and vegetables for export.

The firm does not disclose in its annual report the amount it spent to buy the land in Uganda, but its total cost of acquiring land and buildings stood at Sh1.4 billion in the year ended March.

Agriculture is the latest sector Centum has ventured into, with the firm planning to have a presence in diverse industries in the medium term including health and education.

“Subsequent to the close of our financial year, we acquired 14,000 acres of agricultural land in Masindi, Uganda with plans underway to roll out a large scale integrated grain growing enterprise that will serve to increase the grain supply within the Sub-Saharan region,” Centum says in its latest annual report.

The Ol Kalau farm made its first export to Europe in December last year.

The horticulture business, under a subsidiary called Greenblade Growers, will export exotic herbs such as Coriander, Parsley, Dill, Chives, Tarragon, Lemongrass, Mint and Rosemary once fully operational.

The Netherlands is to be the key export market, followed by the United Kingdom. The company says it will expand its investment in the agricultural sector as part of its overall diversification and growth strategy.

“We anticipate breaking ground on our first facilities, which will include a hospital at Two Rivers, in 2018 financial year,” the company says in the report.