A US$55 million loan from the International Finance Corporation will help the Kenya Tea Development Agency power its processing factories through the construction of seven small hydropower plants.
Arranged in partnership with the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, development agency PROPARCO and The Netherlands Development Finance Company FMO, the new hydroelectric projects will have a cumulative capacity of about 16 MW.
The Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) is a significant employer, operating 65 tea processing factories that source goods from 350,000 farmers. The farmers also act as shareholders in the company and co-owners of the factories.
"Access to power is one of the key constraints for agriculture in Africa," said Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa. "KTDA is innovating to address power shortages by developing its own captive and renewable power supply. Reducing costs of processing will help make Kenya's tea sector more competitive in a global marketplace and increase revenues."
Financing from the French Agency for Development has already allowed for construction to begin on plants in Gura, Chania and North Mathioya. Work on additional facilities in Nyambunde, Kiringa, Kipsonoi and Nyamasege is expected to begin in 2016.
For more news from Africa, visit here.