Agriculture directly contributes 26% of Kenya's annual GDP and another 25% indirectly. Machakos County through its agricultural incentives hopes to increase the cultivated land mass as well as grow the export-oriented agri-business, horticulture and food processing industries.The county’s agricultural production is dominated by cereals, grain legumes, root crops, cotton and coffee. The limited ability to add value to Agricultural produce creates the opportunity for investors in food processing not only in the county but in Kenya's agribusiness landscape.
Machakos’s competitive advantage as an investment location for agriculture is supported by various investor friendly factors that include:
- Subsidized farm inputs (seeds, tractor services and fertilizer)
- Land incentives for investors in the sector
- Trade incentives exclusive to EPZ investors.
- Access to a well established export market
- Access to affordable labour
- Investor-friendly arrangements facilitated by both the county and national governments
- The Tax Remission for Export Office (TREO), a program for intermittent imports for export production
- Bilateral investment and trade agreements.
Given these incentives and the fact that Machakos is Kenya’s 11th largest county covering an area of 6,208 SQ. KMs with an estimated 20% of the land mass under cultivation, there is a lot of potential for investors in agriculture, large-scale irrigation, dairy farming, food processing and horticulture. The county’s proximity to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and its strategic location on the Mombasa-Kampala highway, also ease the logistics of access to the local, regional and global markets.