By Reuben Kimani
Nakuru County saw its land prices rise by an average of 12.7 per cent in 2017 according to County Land Price Report 2018. This has drawn the attention of many investors eyeing prime properties in the county that offers serene living with easy access to Nakuru town, thanks to the developed road network. Ranked as the fourth largest city in Kenya, the town is located 165km northwest of Nairobi.
The strategic location along Nairobi-Malaba highway is making Nakuru town experience an increase in population resulting to the need of expansion of the road. In line with this, KENHA awarded a contract in April to dual Sobea-Salgaa-Mau Summit road on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway. The construction of the 22 kilometer stretch has already begun and is projected to be complete by May 2019.
The ongoing road expansion will open up the investment opportunities available in Nakuru county key among them agriculture and accommodation facilities for travellers on transit. This county boasts of key national parks and has been described by the UN as the fastest growing town in Africa. This makes Nakuru a perfect choice for investment, whether you are building a holiday home or investing in agriculture.
Agriculture is the lifeline and the main economic activity of Nakuru County and according to Africa Agriculture Status Report 2017, farming is a proven path to prosperity. No region in the world has developed a diverse, modern economy without first establishing a successful foundation of Agriculture. With this in mind, the County Government of Nakuru launched and adopted The County Fiscal Strategy Paper 2018 in February with an aim of achieving prosperity for all in agriculture.
The Strategy Paper recognizes the key role played by agriculture at the county and national level in contributing to 26 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and another 27 per cent of GDP indirectly through linkages with other sectors. These dynamics will create many new growth opportunities within Nakuru among them farm servicing, agro processing, urban retailing and food services for the county population.
70% of Kenyan population is involved in agriculture as smallholder farmers working on parcels of land that are, on average, less than 2 hectares. As such, agriculture remains the surest bet on growing inclusive economies and creating decent jobs mainly for the youth. The prospects for farming are looking favourable in 2018 especially with the rains experienced all over the country, the ready markets due to rapid urbanization and the prevailing economic stability that allows people to invest in their farms without fear.
As the country focuses on the Big Four, Nakuru county is maximizing on its potential as an agricultural center with the fertile land to yield both food crops and cash crops. This places the county as a destination to many investors who wish to enjoy serene living, close proximity to tourist sites, convenient transport to and from Nakuru and small scale farming. This is making the county rise to being the most preferred by investors in Kenya and beyond.
In conclusion, Nakuru is an agricultural gold mine coupled with the real sense of a home. Investors purchasing land in Nakuru are hitting three birds with a single stone as they will have the ability to: transform the land into a home, venture into small scale farming, provide food for their families and gain profits from the surplus and that is all any county in Kenya needs for the prosperity of its people.
Kimani is the CEO of Username Investment Limited