Chinese firm to tap aloe sap from Baringo farmers - Beaking Kenya News

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Friday, 6 November 2020

Chinese firm to tap aloe sap from Baringo farmers


Aloe vera farmers in Baringo could soon get a ready market for their crop after the county administration signed a commercialisation deal with a Chinese firm.

Governor Stanley Kiptis signed the deal in Kabarnet on Thursday with Zonken Biotech representative Williams Chin.

Experts say that Baringo can produce up to 6,000 kg per acre of aloe vera sap, with estimated earnings of Sh1.8 million monthly.

The green sap from the aloe plant is used by global manufacturers to make beauty products and natural herbal medicine.

“My administration promotes processing of the locally available indigenous aloe vera shrub to help our people generate income and improve their living standards,” Kiptis said.

The county chief urged residents to practise intensive farming of aloe-vera for better returns.

The agreement is likely to revive an aloe vera project which had stalled in Koriema, Baringo South subcounty since 2008.

The European Union had pumped Sh10.5 million into the project in 2004 but it stalled due to poor market pricing.

The Baringo Aloe Bio-Enterprise was expected to boost earnings as an alternative economic activity for the Tugen, Pokot and Ilchamus pastoralist communities.

Margaret Kimuge, a farmer from Sabor village, lauded the revival of the project.

“I used to sell the aloe sap to get money to feed my family and also pay my children’s school fees,” she said.

On Monday, a team from the National Museums of Kenya and Aga Khan Foundation visited the county to conduct research on the viability of the plant.

"Aloe can be grown and at the same time grows naturally in most arid regions. The county governments of the growing zones should facilitate and support the farmers to be able to revive the industry which serves as an alternative cash crop," National Museum’s chief of research Evans Taracha said.

Aga Khan Foundation chief research officer and consultant Kazim Mitha said the project would boost the livelihoods of residents.

Gorvernor Kiptis was joined at the ceremony with his deputy Jacob Chepkwony and Baringo South MP Charles Kamuren and other leaders.

Officials from the Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Research Institute and the National Environment Management Authority and Koriema, Kimalel and Sabor Community Farmers’ Cooperative Society were present.

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