Baringo is one of Kenya’s 47 counties, known for having the world’s largest habitation of lesser flamingoes. However, beautiful reservations and tourism are not the only business opportunities in Baringo.
The following business opportunities have been captured through research and interviews with a delegation of five decision makers from Baringo County, Kenya who visited Denmark for knowledge sharing and opportunities research at Quercus Group’s invitation.
Baringo is one of Kenya’s leading counties when it comes to honey production, with 176 000 beehives. During the latest Baringo County Honey conference there was an unanimous opinion that the honey produced there is superior in nutrients and originality to many other honey types. “Baringo’s honey cannot be rivalled in any part of the world. We should be in the league of leading honey producers,” said Mr Kithuma Nzainga, Kenya Honey Council chairman, during the conference. The county produces 579 tones annually, earning the county Sh144 million. Governmental efforts are being made to revive commercial honey production and to grow the industry up to more than Sh5 billion per year.
Despite the huge potential in this field to export all around the world, there are major challenges faced by the locals. There is a strong demand for capacity building, increasing production through adoption of modern bee keeping technology, and cooperating under honey cooperatives.
One of the major economic activities in the county of Baringo is the rearing of livestock. It is a local tradition to grow cattle, goats and sheep, which lead to an abundance of diary products, meat and leather. Baringo County has approximately two million goats and one million cows. However, like many economic areas there, the livestock industry is lacking investments, the proper infrastructure and a cooperatives management of the resources. A recent investment of Sh4 million loan from the KCB Foundation to Sabatia Farmers Cooperative Society for the production of quality livestock feeds lead to an increase by 46% sale of animal feed in just three months.
“The difference between the farmers is the technology. There is extended experience of people both in Kenya and in Denmark, but I can come here [in Denmark] and be a good farmer by myself, we need that type of investment in technology in Kenya too” mentioned one of the Baringo county officials during the field trip to Denmark.
Baringo is already known for having the world’s largest habitation of flamingos. Other attractions on which the county can capitalize on are the Baringo and Bogorio lakes, Ol Kokwe Vulcano Island, Ruko Community Wildlife Conservancy or Laikipia Escarpments. To get there one has to fly to Nairobi and from there take a 4 hours drive by car or charter a plane for a 45 minutes flight. The area presents tremendous potential for tourism and opportunities for growth through investments in infrastructure and people’s training, making Baringo a great destination for both business and leisure.
We will continue our series of articles about investment opportunities in Kenya’s counties. You can check the article about Busia here. Meanwhile, do not hesitate to get in touch if you need some local expertise about investing in Kenya or if your county is interested in a field trip to Denmark.