De Heus Animal Nutrition Limited, a global top 10 animal feed company has broken ground for the construction of a state-of-the-art animal feeds factory in Athi river to Machakos County. At an investment value of Kes 3billion the factory is expected to be operational in June 2025. In the picture, from left is Rowland Wanyama, Commercial Manager, De Heus Kenya, Hon. Jonathan Mueke, Principal Secretary Livestock Development and H.E Maarten Brouwer, Ambassador – Kingdom of the Netherlands. From the right is Wiehan Visagie, General Manager, De Heus Kenya, Hon. Wavinya Ndeti, Governor, Machakos County and Koen de Heus, CEO, De Heus Animal Nutrition B.V.

NAIROBI, April 11, 2024… De Heus Animal Nutrition, a multinational with operations in over 20 countries, including six in Africa, has begun constructing a KES 3 billion (USD 23 million) animal feed production plant in Athi River, Machakos County.

The factory, with an annual capacity of 200,000 metric tonnes (MT), will become operational during the second half of 2025, catering to the needs of the poultry, swine and dairy farming sectors in the country. The ground-breaking today was held in the presence of esteemed government and industry officials among other distinguished guests.

According to Koen de Heus, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of De Heus Animal Nutrition B.V., the investment shows the company’s confidence and commitment towards supplying livestock farmers with high quality animal feeds to support effective and healthy growth of the local meat, eggs and milk industry, while helping to further development of the Kenyan agricultural sector.

Jonathan Mueke, the Principal Secretary (PS), Livestock Development in the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Development, who officiated over the ceremony, lauded the investment as a significant sign of confidence in the Kenyan economy and the firm’s growth prospects in the local animal feed industry.

“We are excited by the interest and investment by De Heus Kenya in the local animal feed sector. By merging their global expertise with an understanding of Kenya’s agricultural landscape, we hope to see an introduction of agricultural innovations and feed technologies for our farmers, towards meeting Kenya’s food security needs,” said Mueke.

The PS acknowledged the commitment by De Heus Kenya to collaborate with the government and farming communities to foster agricultural development for long-term growth through technical support, job creation, and continued investment in Kenya’s agriculture and livestock sectors.

“Through our presence in Kenya, in close proximity to key farming communities we will be able to put our global knowledge to work resulting in enhancement of the productivity and profitability of Kenyan farms.  Similarly, working through close partnerships and personalized on-the-farm support, we will endeavour to deliver a seamless tailored solution to farmers every time,” said de Heus.

With the country’s animal feed sector on the rise, driven by a young and growing population, the company joins the 305 registered feed companies in Kenya, which include more than 100 exclusive animal feed manufacturers and around 10 commercial feed mills.

Aiming to tap into the increasing animal protein consumption trends in the country, data by De Heus Kenya indicate for example, that Kenyans consume on average about 1.26 kilogrammes (KG) per capita of broiler chicken, with egg consumption standing at 36 eggs, or 2.6 KG per capita, per year.

This translates to a sizeable demand for broiler and layer feed per year for the estimated 43.2 million to 49.7 million poultry population in the country respectively. Per capita consumption of pork, on the other hand, stands at about 0.41 KG, with fish at 4 KG, annually. Dairy milk with a consumption of 110 KG per capita is relatively high which translates to a healthy demand for good quality dairy feeds.

Wavinya Ndeti, the governor of Machakos County, who also attended the event, said her office would endeavour to create a supportive  environment for business to be able to continuously attract investors whilst spurring job creation for county residents. 

“Machakos County is renowned as one of the best counties to do business in Kenya with transformative projects and economic assets such as the Konza Technology City and plans for the new Machakos City, as well as a set industrial development corridor here in Mavoko Sub-County. Our commitment to investors, both big and small is that our doors are open. We shall support your businesses for the mutual benefit of the county and the people of  Machakos,” she said.

When opened, the De Heus Kenya feed factory is set to create about 250 direct and another 1,000 indirect jobs while helping to power progress in sustainable agriculture and livestock management across the agribusiness and animal feed value chains in the country.

Noting that every farm is different, the team at De Heus Kenya shall, together with specialist support from The Netherlands support Kenyan farmers with both feed products combined with farm management advisory services leading to higher yields, more sustainable farming practises and positive impact on farming communities.

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