Kajiado County, Kenya
Due to an increase in demand over the past several years, this is one of the last remaining areas in Kenya where large tracts of land can be purchased for large-scale farming. Kajiado County is located near the Nairobi-Mombasa road adjacent to the Kenya/Tanzania border where Kilimanjaro looms. While Kilimanjaro is not visible, it’s impact on the fertility of the soil provides a unique opportunity. Onions, tomatoes, watermelons, and other successful crops can be grown at large scale. We have located 140 contiguous acres and negotiated a price of $3,000 per acre. This price is approximately $60,000 less than other similar tracts of land that we have researched. The plan is to plant at least two different crops at stages that will ensure year round supply. In addition, we will begin by only planting 30 acres to keep production costs low and allow us to expand the farm by reinvesting profit from the first few harvests. While COVID-19 has caused global economic impact, borders are beginning to open and markets, especially for onions, in both Kenya and Tanzania are expected to rebound quickly. Our goal is to be able to provide sufficient supply to large scale retail/wholesale operations.
NEED & IMPACT
Horizon’s founding country where the strategy of sustainability was birthed has for years struggled to have a significant Impact Investing project that could keep pace with the operational costs. Though the small farms within each Micro Community are important for food production, we’ve realized that they can only cover a minimal percentage of our operational expenses. As we continue to elevate the level of care for the children and families we serve, the operational costs continue to increase, and are currently near $500,000 annually. All the while land costs in the Kitale area, the bread basket of Kenya, have surpassed $10,000 per acre. Like much of the world, land costs are rising and where there is cheaper land foreign developers are buying up what is left. Because of this, we are looking to move quickly on this unique opportunity as we launch our first large scale farming operations. Based on our initial projections, the impact of this project within result in a dramatic shift from covering two percent to over eighty five percent of our in-country operations in just five years.