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Plans For Airlifting Fresh Produce From Kisumu International Airport Finalized

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Plans for airlifting fresh produce from Kisumu International Airport have been finalized with the inaugural flight scheduled for January 8, 2022.

This move is expected to boost the economy of counties within the lake region Economic bloc.

This follows the expansion of the airport for  cargo handling and cold storage facility through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

During the inspection, Kisumu Lakefront Development Corporation (KLDC) Chairman FCPA Edward Ouko said farmers and fishermen in Kisumu and the lake region are going to benefit immensely through the new development.

“The development gives hope to farmers and fishermen in this area and signals a pragmatic approach to cooperation, grounded in the priorities of the Kenyan Government at the national and regional levels,” he said.

Ouko further said that the facility will unite all cargo airlines.

“It will unite cargo airlines, freight forwarders, farmers, fish traders and airports to identify opportunities, generate new business and add additional frequencies into the market,” he added.

Ouko said KLDC which was gazetted by Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o last year as a Special Purpose Vehicle to enable the County Government to bring together the public and private sector for economic development was committed to promoting investment, trade and tourism through bringing together stakeholders from both private and public sectors to harness the existing opportunities.

The Cold Storage facility owned by a local investor will go a long way in enabling the airport to establish a full-fledged Cargo Division and Cold Chain Logistics.

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Farmers are expected to venture into value addition and fish processing to tap into existing markets locally and internationally.

Among the commodities earmarked for export from the airport include avocados, fish, chillies, pepper, mangoes, pineapples, peanuts, traditional green vegetables and organic beef.

“This is set to give us a global competitive advantage because of our unique regional position,” said Ouko.

Last year, the national government allocated Ksh 1.2 billion to expand Kisumu International Airport.

On the other hand KAA Business Development Manager Jimmy Kebati, the ongoing works target to expand the passenger tower building to handle one million passengers per year up from the current 500, 000.

Kebati added that the pavement and taxi apron at the airport will be extended to the old airport to create space for setting up a cargo unit at the facility.

“This will enhance the capacity of the airport which serves the entire western region to attract direct international flights,” said Kebati

The expansion is expected to be completed by April this year ahead of the Afri-Cities Conference to be held in Kisumu from 17th-21st May 2022.

Those in attended the inspection includes representatives from Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), Kenya Airways (KQ), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS), Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPCK) and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

VIDEO OF THE DAY; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDOhVnuCeBk

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