Kenya has entered into three environment-friendly trade investment deals with Sweden, South Africa and Hong Kong, aimed at revolutionising food security and air travel.
This was during a sideline event of the 2023 Africa climate summit in Nairobi.
The deal with Swedish firm, Cool Go Green, involves tapping sunlight to power food preservation in efforts to reduce food waste and post-harvest losses.
The firm seeks to establish about 40,000 cooling units in the country in the next five years, at a cost of $200 million (Sh28.9 billion).
The firm’s founder Peter Korner said the deal will seek to empower farmers and Kenyans at large to leverage on solar-powered cold storage containers to preserve food for a longer shelf life.
It is estimated that up to 40 per cent of food in Kenya is lost post harvest due to the high purchase and maintenance cost of preservation gadgets.
“A significant number of farmers in Africa do not have access to reliable electricity and storage facilities. In addition, our technology sustains optimal cold storage conditions for up to seven days without external power sources,” Korner said.
South Africa’s Agri All Africa seeks to put 31,000 hectares of land in the Tana Delta under climate smart rice irrigation at an estimated cost of $102 million (Sh14.7 billion).
This is expected to help Kenya produce about 560,000 metric tons of rice annually and save the $690 million (Sh99.95 billion) spent on importing the grain annually.
This, while creating more than 37,500 jobs and generating 175,000 carbon credits, according to the firm’s director Priscilla Motlhako.
The government also signed a deal with the taxi ride-hailing platform, Volar Air Mobility, to bring into operation the world’s pioneering air taxi ride-hailing facility, offering an option to fly without air pollution.
Volar Air offers air taxi services, flight academies, agricultural spraying, precision mapping, logistics, air ambulance services and humanitarian operations.
The deal makes Kenya the first country in Africa where Volar Air Mobility is establishing operations targeting environmentally sensitive travellers.
Trade CS Moses Kuria said the investments would create more than 40,000 jobs, besides helping the country reduce over-reliance on food imports and enhancing air travel experience in the country.
Investment Promotion PS Abubakar Hassan said the innovations in the agriculture sector are in line with the government’s target to reduce food imports.
“In Africa, about $48 billion (Sh6.9 trillion) worth of food is wasted annually. This contributes to the huge budgets the continent spends on food imports.” he said.