President Uhuru Kenyatta and US billionaire Dr Fisk Johnson have inked deal to revive pyrethrum exports from Kenya.
In a meeting held at State House on Wednesday, April 6, the two leaders also agreed to partner in the fight against malaria.
Dr Johnson, who is the Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson and Sons Company, shared his company’s intent to resume its purchasing of Kenya’s pyrethrum for the production of chemicals to boost the war against malaria.
Uhuru welcomed the partnership, terming it a boost in the fight against malaria in Kenya and across the region.
The Head of State also noted that the new production of the cash crop would upend the farmers' fortunes, especially with the ready market provided by the multinational manufacturer of household cleaning supplies and consumer chemicals.
The deal is a boost for the Nakuru-based Pyrethrum Processing Company whose operations were revived in February 2022 after scaling down for many years due to the lack of raw materials.
In Kenya, Pyrethrum is grown in 18 counties including Nakuru Nyandarua and West Pokot.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel. At the end of this financial year, we hope to crush 150 metric tonnes of dry flowers. I urge farmers to deliver flowers to PPCK as they stand to reap big in the coming days," stated the company's acting Managing Director Mary Moraa Ontiri-Magati at the time.
Uhuru, who is also the chairman of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), has been at the forefront in supporting initiatives geared towards the eradication of malaria on the continent.
In October 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that the world's first malaria vaccine was ready. Kenya was announced as one of the three African countries recommended for using the revolutionary vaccine.
"Malaria has been with us for millennials, and the dream of a malaria vaccine has been a long-held but unattainable dream.
"Today, the RTS,S malaria vaccine – more than 30 years in the making – changes the course of public health history," stated WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during the announcement.