Taking over East Africa

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Africa Plantation Capital is in the process of acquiring the Kenya Bureau of Standards certification to be the first bamboo tea production unit in East Africa.

Operating successfully in Kenya since 2015, the establishment has achieved an amazing growth ratio, with the main objective being provision of sustainable plantation management services. The company has already established several large-scale bamboo projects.

Africa Plantation Capital (APC) has also produced bamboo bike prototypes for its eco bike brand – Boorider, while at the same time is in the process of setting up a mega-scale project to provide bamboo biomass for the energy sector.

The Initial objective of the company was to grow bamboo in order to export it to Asia for Fiber production for the clothing industry. However, that has changed and currently, due to its growth and the great potential and dynamics of the region the company invests further in local production and opportunities.

“It gives the company and everyone associated with it a great deal of pleasure to see our vision for Kenya and the East Africa region being realized and our mission statement being carried out,” says APC’s MD Mr Kelvin Sila Kaloki.

The company has planted over 75,000 bamboo clumps and is targeting to plant another 20,000 bamboo plants in the next 12 months. All the projects are fully licensed, monitored and irrigated on a 24/7 basis. In addition, Africa Plantation Capital is also managing two bamboo arboretums, and is currently operating five offices and three nurseries in the East Africa region, while managing over 350 small to medium scale plantations belonging to third parties in Kilifi and around the country.

APC’s efforts, growth and performance have been recognized severally by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which has awarded the company three times consecutively since the beginning of its operations in the business category. It was awarded New Business of the Year 2016, the Best Agribusiness of 2017 and the Best Agribusiness of the year 2018 while it was a finalist in other categories such as Customer focus and Best Growth Strategy among others.

APC got its ISO 9001:2015 UKAS, certification in 2017 by Bureau Veritas on Real Estate and Plantation Management Services and has been audited successfully every year since then. The ISO 9001:2015 certification promotes the development of continual improvement, customer satisfaction, traceability and international best practices within the Africa Plantation Capital organization. Moreover, APC is fully licensed by NEMA, WARMA and all relevant Kenyan authorities. APC aims to provide clients with the highest quality plantation management services. The ISO certification means clients can have increased confidence in APC and the service provided.

APC has more than 150 permanent staff in the East Africa Region, and more than 170 casual workers carrying out their duties on its operations. The plantation management team includes six agronomists among other experienced professionals and is led by the Africa Plantation Capital management director R. Kirui. It has established the first fully irrigated, 24/7 monitored bamboo plantation in the region, targeting to achieve fast growth, and creating the foundation for maximum yields in a very challenging environment due to the weather conditions and the climatic changes in the region and around the world affecting the agriculture sector all over East Africa.

Africa Plantation Capital is part of the APC Group of companies that also includes Asia Plantation Capital. The APC Group is a multi-award-winning sustainable plantation operator and management company, with projects across four continents, and a global workforce in excess of 2,000. A market leader in the industry and its scientific advisory board is comprised of leading academics from various countries (China, Thailand, Malaysia, Kenya, India, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates) that have, between them, developed and patented industry-leading technologies and systems. Africa Plantation Capital’s aim is to deliver the same quality plantation management services as per the group’s high quality standards.

APC has also established a large CSR program including bamboo-planting activities, actions against deforestation, assisting local communities and supporting institutions such as New Life Home Trust amongst others.

The company continues to expand its operations in Kenya with one more acquisition of land for the creation of high value bamboo plantations, phase 4.

Africa Plantation Capital, operating successfully for the last 3 years in Kenya, has established a state of the art Bamboo Plantation in Kilifi, Phases one, two and three. APC is also managing two bamboo arboretums and has started a riverbank conservation project in Busia County as part of its CSR program. The company is currently operating five offices and two nurseries.

“Since the beginning of the project APC signed an MoU with Kefri in order to secure the best available local expertise concerning bamboo plantation management and up to date that has proven to be a great decision which provides added value to our operations,” says Mr Kelvin Kaloki, APC’s managing director for East Africa Region.

“The partnership between Kefri and APC has actualized the commercialization of the research efforts,” said Dr Ben Chikamai, former Kefri director, in his latest project appraisal, adding that “this green investment project has realized that bamboo forests have many environmental benefits, through biodiversity conservation, purification and regulation of the environment.”

It is the group’s policy to always invest in research and science in order to create new products and markets. Following this noble policy, APC is ready now, together with Kefri, to start a pilot program in order to study the possibility to grow Agarwood in the coastal Region. Working together for months, APC and Kefri are now at the final step to import seeds from APC’s operations in Asia and start this project that could open new horizons to Kenya’s sustainable agroforestry sector establishing a new market with great returns.

APC group’s CEO Gary Crates expressed his satisfaction for the great work that the APC team has done so far in Kenya and stated that the Group will fully support the East Africa Region Operations in order to sustain APC’s leading position in the regional plantation industry.

Upon successful certification by KEBS, APC will embark on initial processing and testing of the Bamboo Green Tea christened Boochai, which will see the company enter into the beverage market of East Africa. The APC team is working day and night to create another successful brand that is expected to increase revenue both to the company and its partners.

The signing of memorandum of understanding between APC and other institutions such as BIDCO has born such fruits as the one million bamboo seedlings planting annually, an activity that seeks to save Kenya’s water towers. So far, the activation has been conducted over the last 3 years with the latest being presided over by Kenya’s first lady, Mrs. Margarete Kenyatta.

With APC’s Uganda office now operating over the last nine months, the company is ready to take over the East African market with quality services on sustainable bamboo plantation management. The company has already conducted feasibility study in Tanzania and Ethiopia in readiness to expand to these countries.