Makueni County focuses on six areas of investment opportunities, spread across commercial, public, public-private and social investments.
Investing in water.
The over-arching development and investment theme is water. Increased access to water will boost agricultural and horticultural production. Water-related investment is being done in dams, boreholes and irrigation schemes. The other investment areas are:
1. Value addition in the mango production and agribusiness sectors
2. Cold storage facilities for the horticulture sector
3. Public markets with standardization services for the mango sector
4. Public-private partnerships in agriculture and horticulture extension services
5. Research and development in agriculture and horticulture
The population of the County is estimated at 800,000 and land surface area is about 7,000 sq km.
The County distinguishes economic zones: coffee in Kikima and Nunguni; irrigated horticulture and sisal in Kibwezi, Kilungu, Kilome and Kaiti; sand harvesting in Emali, Sultan Hamud and Tawa; mangos in Tulimani and Tawa.
Factors facilitating investment in these areas include: proactive role of the County Council as facilitator and co-investor; proactive role of local financial institutions; and last but not least social cohesion and capability of population to form successful development groups. Makueni County has a strong track record of successful group formation, for a variety of purposes including water dams, sacco’s and farmer co-operatives. Group formation is a proven asset of the County. The County supports group formation and can often provide partial project funding.
Makueni Investment Forum
The County held its first Makueni Investment Forum on March 2010 with participation from commercial banks KCB and Barclays, parastatals in the horticulture sector KARI and HCDA, the Makueni chapter of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Universal Traders Sacco, Flametree Systems Engineering and the County Council.
The road network is of good quality in many parts of the County. Financial institutions both commercial and microfinance are increasingly targeting the Small and Micro Enterprise sector. The Makueni chapter of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry has 800 members.