In a significant stride towards fostering economic growth and opportunities, the United States has unveiled a groundbreaking partnership with Kenyan coconut processor Kentaste. This collaboration is poised to empower over 4,500 Kenyan farmers by creating an environment conducive to prosperity and progress.
The announcement took place on August 28, 2023, with Ambassador Meg Whitman joining hands with Kentaste leaders to reveal this transformative initiative. Backed by a combined investment exceeding $1.6 million (Ksh. 232,400,000.00), courtesy of USAID and Kentaste, this project aims to bolster Kentaste’s exports to the United States while simultaneously benefiting the Kenyan agricultural community.
The project is a product of U.S. support from the United States Agency for International Development, fueled by funding from two pivotal programs: Feed the Future and Prosper Africa. This strategic alliance is set to elevate Kentaste’s processing capabilities by a remarkable 67%, enabling the processing of up to 50,000 coconuts daily. Beyond numbers, this expansion will contribute to the creation of 90 full-time jobs and extend an invitation to 1,500 new farmers to join as suppliers. Notably, over 30% of these new recruits will be women—a testament to the commitment to gender inclusivity and empowerment.
Moreover, the project is set to yield far-reaching environmental benefits. By streamlining processing efficiency, it will eliminate a staggering 32,500 liters of food loss and waste over the course of two years, an impactful stride towards sustainability.
Ambassador Whitman expressed the transformative potential of partnerships like this, stating, “Through partnerships like this, we are enhancing trade, transforming lives, and combating food waste and its impacts on climate change. Sustainable growth and international collaboration are key to the prosperity of both our countries.”
Beyond its immediate impact, this partnership holds a promising future for Kentaste’s coconut products in the U.S. market. Two prominent U.S. retailers have pledged to carry Kentaste’s coconut water products, thereby expanding the accessibility of Kenyan coconut products in the American market and concurrently creating employment opportunities for Kenyan producers.
The resonance of this initiative within the Kenyan community cannot be understated. Local farmer Abdalla Juma Mwaramunda shared, “With Kentaste, I now have consistent earnings and better farming techniques. This partnership is transforming our community.” This sentiment encapsulates the far-reaching potential of this partnership—a catalyst for prosperity, empowerment, and positive transformation within Kenya’s agricultural landscape.
As the U.S. and Kentaste join hands to revolutionize the Kenyan coconut industry, this collaborative journey paves the way for sustained growth, international cooperation, and a brighter future for both nations.