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German bank to fund Kenyan juice firm’s expansion

A Kenyan fruit juice producer has been awarded a long-term loan of US$7.5 million by a leading German development finance institution

Kevian Keyna, manufacturer of the fruit juice brands Pick’N’Peel, Afia, and Mt Kenya Water, will use the funds to encourage its global expansion and help develop the local agricultural industry.

Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) said that the funds would be used to fuel the juice manufacturers’ global reach, following its strong growth in recent years.

“With our financing, we are supporting a local company in becoming an international player and, moreover, we are helping numerous farmers to earn a regular income by acting as suppliers,” said DEG chairman Bruno Wenn.

As part of the expansion, Kevian plans to increase its production capacity of fruit juices and improve its packaging systems, as well as entering into the production of fruit juice concentrates.

DEG said that the loan would enable Kevian, which buys fruit from smallholders, to offer tens of thousands of smallholders the possibility to earn an income.

The German ambassador to Kenya, Margit Hellwig-Bötte, said that the agreement between DEG and Kenya represented the strength of Kenyan-German cooperation and praised the potential of the deal to improve the livelihood of many Kenyans smallholders.

“It demonstrates the role private enterprise can play to foster sustainable, economic development,” Hellwig-Bötte remarked.

As a result of the agreement, a substantial portion of Kevian's fruit concentrate exports will find their way to Germany, while a state-of-the-art complete PET line will head in the opposite direction and will be supplied to the Kenyan drinks producer by German firm Krones AG.

DEG currently has three representative offices in Africa, which has become a key region for the firm with its more recent commitments in the continent totalling more than US$300 million.