Kentegra, a Kenyan-US biotech firm has secured $15 million funding in equity from Finnish financier, Finnfund in collaboration with USA’s International Development Finance Corporation (CDC).
Since 2017, it has established itself as a leading producer of pyrethrin, a product from pyrethrum flowers in the Rift Valley region of Kenya and a global raw material in the manufacture of insecticides.
The funds will boost Kentegra’s plans to increase production of pyrethrin by processing pyrethrum flowers from over 80,000 farmers in Kenya.
Making his comments, Johanna Raehalme- the head of Finnfund’s Nairobi office affirmed his confidence in the viability of the investment noting that Kentegra has registered success and met all investor expectations.
“It has plenty of growth potential in a very interesting upward-trending market,” Mr. Raehalme said.
“The company is also under a very talented and professional team, and its operations have significant development impact.”
Kentegra Socioeconomic Impact
On his part, James Polan, the Vice President of DFC’s Office of Development Credit, noted that the investment will help to provide farmers and women, in particular, with greater and predictable income from the high sales of pyrethrum.
Brian McKenzie, Kentegra’s CEO, underscored the economic impact of the firm’s operations to the farming community in Kenya.
“The production creates livelihoods to over 10,000 contracted farmers who are trained and practice regenerative organic agriculture practices to grow raw material, flowers,” CEO Brian McKenzie stated.
“This enables local communities to receive a considerable and dependable income with which they can educate their children, obtain health insurance, and generally improve their living conditions.”
Kenya has in the past controlled a lion’s share of global pyrethrum production and was at one point the highest producer accounting for over 80% of pyrethrum exports.
However, pyrethrum farming in the East African nation has declined significantly in the last two decades, a situation that the Kenyan government has committed to reversing in partnership with international partners.