Approximately 7,000 people might lose their jobs as juice manufacturer Del Monte stares an exit from the Kenyan market.
Del Monte might exit the market if its 99-year land lease is not renewed in 2022 leaving the country to lose Sh. 10 billion in foreign exchange.
Failure to have the juice manufacture’s lease renewed means another 28, 000 people will be impacted indirectly.
In a possible situation where the company leaves the Kenyan market, Thika might become a ghost town considering that the company plays a key role in the area’s vibrancy.
Stakeholders call for government intervention
Stakeholders are calling on the national government to temporarily ignore the tedious lease renewal terms since the cost of Del Monte leaving the country will be high.
The company has 22,000 acres of land in Kiambu and Murang’a Counties near Thika town.
The upcoming lease expiry comes a time the firm is planning to expand its business to other countries like Mexico.
Last year, plans were unveiled to resurvey the land as directed by the National Assembly Lands Committee under Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South MP). The process has stalled due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.