In 2015, one of the leading Plantation Management companies in the world ventured into the East Africa Region to invest in sustainable green projects.
APC Group, with almost twenty years of proven success in sustainable plantation management in Asia, Europe and America, started its first operations in Africa, incorporating Africa Plantation Capital as the legal entity representing its interests in the region.
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Today, APC group successfully manages 173 plantations in Thailand, China, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, the USA, and currently in Kenya. It also operates several nurseries, processing facilities and distilleries in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The winner of several awards, APC group started its first plantation in Kenya almost three years ago. For the East Africa Region, the group wanted to create sustainable plantations in at least three countries.
Africa Plantation Capital now operates in Kenya and Uganda. The target is to have a minimum of 5000 acres under management in the first five years of operations, which means over 700,000 bamboo under management. To achieve this, APC has established state of the art multiplication centres and nurseries to secure high quality seedlings.
In East Africa, APC runs four multiplication nursery facilities in the coast; another is coming up in Kiserian, Kajiado County. A similar facility is also under construction in Entebbe, Uganda, to cover the needs of APC in Uganda.
APC group has vast plantation management experience and although the company’s prime crop is Agarwood, it also grows teak, bananas, chilies, maize, patchouli and vetiver, amongst others.
The company made the decision to focus and invest in bamboo plantations and to research in end products processing, putting in several million dollars in the bamboo industry, in plantations, process facilities, as well as research for better end products to achieve better production yields.
Owing to its commitment to provide top of the range quality services, APC operates under UKAS standards, implementing a fully integrated QMS system approved by Bureau Veritas. Africa Plantation Capital got its ISO 9001:2015 certification by Bureau Veritas for “Quality Plantation Management“ in 2017, and has already been audited/reapproved to continue its high quality plantation management services under the same certification and standards for 2018.
As well, APC won the ‘’New Business of the Year” award for 2016 by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry for its first year of official operations in the country, and the “Best Agribusiness Company “ award for 2017 from KNCCI. This is proof of the continuous high standard of services that the company is providing in the region.
Apart from its own plantations, the company also manages over 400 projects in the region both for the private and public sector.
Looking to the future, APC plans to set up processing facilities for end products in the region. In Kiserian, its first bamboo tea production facility is almost complete. The company is also setting up a new facility for bamboo charcoal tablet, and has already obtained approvals for the processing facility unit in Kilifi. We are also at the final stages of finalising a merger with a bamboo bicycle company in Uganda to begin producing bamboo bikes in the region.
Further, Africa Plantation is closely working with some of the largest companies in the region to set up facilities for pulping, and to introduce bamboo as an alternative eco-friendly source of electricity generation.
Our key to success is our award winning plantation management team as well as a fully integrated business plan based on large scale biomass production and local processing for the local market and exports.
Following the plantation set up model of APC, all plantations are fully irrigated and managed. All APC projects are NEMA licensed and compliant with relevant environmental impact assessment needs, respecting the environment and the local community needs.
According to CEO Kosta Kioleoglou, the company does not compromise when it comes to quality, sustainability and mindfulness for the environment.
“We consider the long-term benefits of sustainable projects, which will create profits for many years to come. Our biggest asset is our human resources, the support we have from our group’s operations and market network in 18 countries around the world. We need to create state of the art plantations, produce high quality and maximum quantities, and process and APC group with its existing international market network will take care of the sales.”
APC has more than 150 people in its employ, and close to 200 casual workers within its East Africa operations. Kelvin Kaloki, the company’s Managing Director expects this to number to rise.
“With this kind of growth rate, we expect to have over 250 employees and close to 400 casual workers in the next 12 months. We have already set timelines to further expand our operations in Kenya and Uganda. We will, as well, start operations in Rwanda and hopefully in Tanzania within the same period.”
Africa Plantation aims to follow in the steps of the successful APC Group vertical production line model. The company does everything from producing the seeds, planting, managing, harvesting, processing and producing the final product and sell directly to the markets.
With bamboo, the company’s plan is to produce, harvest and process bamboo fibre, tea, pulp and other products, both for local and export markets.
The company’s business model encourages the undertaking of large scale projects given their benefit to the economy of scales keeping in keeping the costs low and maximising productivity of green sustainable projects. It also offers quality plantation management services in the region, with an aim of being a market leader in the bamboo industry. (