Kenya once produced over 80 percent of the world’s pyrethrum, a white flower that looks like a daisy and produces an active ingredient used to create organic pesticides. However, due to competition from cheaper synthetic alternatives, production dwindled.
Today, there is growing demand for organic pesticides, which has created an opportunity to revitalize the production, processing, and export of Kenya's pyrethrum, expanding opportunities for local farmers and partners along the value chain.
Solution and Impact
A DFC loan is helping Kentegra, a Kenyan and U.S. biotechnology company, build a new pyrethrum processing facility in Nakuru County, Kenya, to meet growing demand.
Growing pyrethrum provides farmers with a consistent income that is significantly higher than many other crops. Kentegra buys dried pyrethrum flowers from farmers on long-term contracts and provides them access to planting materials, equipment, and climate-resilience training to help them maximize yields. Kentegra also provides financial planning tools and lessons to help farmers best manage and benefit from their improved incomes.
Nearly half of the contracted farmer partners are women, like Gladys Mbithi, who says her income has increased eightfold since she started working with Kentegra. Mbithi has used the money to pay for her children's school fees, purchase her own home, and launch a new business venture that will provide additional income for her family.
DFC’s investment is part of a larger round of funding that includes an equity investment from Finnfund, a Finnish development financier and impact investor. Kentegra has also received support from USAID and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.