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Competition rises as second pyrethrum firm gets permit

Farmers harvest pyrethrum flowers in Molo. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Farmers harvest pyrethrum flowers in Molo. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

The Pyrethrum Directorate has licensed a second privately-owned processing firm, boosting competition in the industry that was liberalised four years ago.

The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) said Orion EPZ has been issued with a permit to produce, process and export pyrethrum products even as three other private firms lined-up to join to join the industry.

“Any objections to the proposed grant of licence with respect to the applicant should be lodged in writing with the Agriculture and Food Authority, Pyrethrum and other Industrial Crops Directorate within 30 days,” AFA director-general Alfred Busolo said in a September 22 Gazette notice.

The regulator last month issued a permit to Africhem Botanical to process pyrethrum—breaking a monopoly by the Nakuru-based State-owned Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya (PPCK).

Head of the Pyrethrum directorate, Andrew Osodo said a US company, Pentegra, has also applied for registration and is scheduled to meet officials of the directorate next week.

Two other companies, Senju Development Company of China and Highchem East Africa have also made requests for permits to operate in the pyrethrum industry, the official said.

One of the requirements for the firm seeking processing certificate is to show prove of 300 acres of land for development of the crop.

The interested firms also need to have contracted 300 farmers to ensure consistency in production once the factory starts operations.

This is the latest attempt by the government to revive the industry that is now producing about 300 tonnes extract of pyrethrum from 20,000 tonnes in early 1970s.