Wholesale and Retail trade is one of the key sub-sectors in the economic development agenda of Kenya which is expected to expand substantially as the economy moves towards a 10 per cent growth target by 2012. There exists high potential and a vibrant wholesale and retail business in Kenya, with wholesale and retail trade accounting for about 10% of GDP and 10% of formal employment, and approximately 59% of employment in the informal sector.
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Investment opportunities in the trade sector exist in the following areas:
1. Wholesale Hubs and Producer Markets in Major towns in Kenya
This is intended to provide an avenue for product consolidation, market infrastructure for easier market access, creating better and friendly facilities, and improve the supply chain from small scale producers to retail markets. The Project objectives is to construct a fully equipped integrated mega producer wholesale markets and encourage large scale agricultural producer groups around the major towns including Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru, Embu and Nyeri. This is expected to increase wholesale business activities in these towns and their environs. The wholesale hubs are expected to have facilities such as wholesale halls, trading halls, open air daily market sales areas, cash card system, temperate storage, cold storage, fruit ripening facilities among others.
This will ensure smooth supply chain between the producers and the retailers. The government will put in place the required infrastructural facilities such as rail and road networks for ease of movement of producers and retailers.
The Ministry of Trade is currently liaising with related ministries to make land available in the identified areas for the construction of the markets. The construction of the markets is expected to also increase other related activities around the areas of operation such as banking, recycling facilities among others.
The project is expected to stimulate business activities within the region, with the investors once the projects are completed, expected to run the projects through Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) scheme.
The potential areas of investment in wholesale Hubs include:-
- Building wholesale markets through Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) scheme
- Operating cold storage, ripening equipment, waste disposal facilities in the markets
2. Construction of a model tier one retail market in Athi-River near Nairobi
The retail sector in Kenya is vibrant. However, most of retailing is conducted informally and unregulated in open air markets that are not conducive to business operators and the environment is degrading. A Tier 1 retail market is a multi-lane outlet that offers variety and exceptionally high quality goods and services. On completion, the project would provide the final link to the wholesalers and sanitary environment for consumers and be a retailing model to be replicated in other regions throughout the country.
The ministry of Trade is liaising with related ministries to make land available for the construction of the market. Once the Athi-River project is completed, it will be replicated in other areas. The project is expected to stimulate business activities within the region, with the investors once the projects are completed, expected to run the projects through Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) scheme.