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Bidco invests in Kenyan animal feed mill upgrade

Kenyan animal feed manufacturer Bidco and its U.S. partner Land O’Lakes have invested KES1.2 billion (US$11.8 million) with the aim to overtake competitors such as Unga Group.

Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya (selective focus)
Jarretera | Bigstock.com

To achieve an edge over its livestock feed milling competitors, Bidco Africa has announced plans to expand capacity at its feed plant in Nakuru.

With an investment of KES1.2 billion (US$11.8 million), animal feed manufacturer Bidco and its U.S. partner Land O’Lakes aim to overtake competitors such as Unga Group, reports Business Daily Africa.

In order to increase accuracy and reduce the chance of human error, the new plant will be fully automated, according to company director, Chris Diaz. New technology will test each batch of incoming raw materials for possible contaminants (such as aflatoxins), and their nutritional content.

The investment will also raise hourly output from the feed mill to 28 metric tons, and enable the firm to introduce new products onto the Kenyan market. The company says these will include a calf milk replacer, a calf starter, a heifer developer, and a piglet starter.

Bidco expects its investment to help create around 100 new jobs.

More on Bidco Africa

Land O’Lakes Inc. expanded its commercial footprint in Africa in 2016 through a partnership with Bidco Africa to create Bidco Land O’Lakes Ltd. This joint venture aims to help farmers in East Africa improve animal nutrition.

Founded in 1985 as a soap manufacturer, Bidco Africa has since diversified into a range of “fast-growing consumer goods.”  It has four main business areas: edible oils & fats, hygiene & personal care, food & beverages, and animal feeds. In addition to its poultry range, Bidco offers diets for dairy cows, calves and pigs (sows, weaners and finishers).

The partnership recently announced the creation of a four-phase feed program designed to reduce the maturity period and increase productivity of Kienyeji chickens. Popular in Kenya for their eggs and meat, these indigenous birds make up around 75% of the nation’s chicken population.

Developments in Kenya’s feed and dairy markets

Bidco’s named competitor, Unga Group, was founded in 1908, and specializes in human and animal nutrition. In 2000, it entered into a strategic investment partnership with U.S.-based Seaboard Corp. The result, Unga Holdings Ltd., is 65% owned by Unga Group, and 35% by Seaboard Corp.

Since its first feed mill was established in 1909, Unga Holdings has expanded. It now operates facilities in Nairobi, Nakuru and Eldoret in Kenya, Kampala (Uganda) and Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania).

Located in central Kenya, Nakuru county has seen a boom in dairying in recent times. This growth is attributed to the establishment of regular milk collections, training opportunities for farmers, as well as nutritional and genetic improvement.

In August of this year, the U.S. Grains Council and the Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers signed a memorandum of understanding, pledging to work together to develop Kenya’s animal feed industry.

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