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Delmonte Company welcomes decision to re-survey its land

The Processing of pineapples going on at Delmonte Kenya Ltd. The company is eyeing to renew its land lease  which  expires  in 2022. Photo by Bernard Munyao/KNA.

Delmonte Kenya Ltd has welcomed decision by National Assembly Lands Committee to have its land re-surveyed.

The company has noted that re-surveying of its more than 22,000 acres of land will dispel claims that it is farming more land than is registered in its title deeds.

In  a press statement on Wednesday, the Delmonte’s Managing Director, Stergios Gkaliamoutsas said the company strictly farms within the confines of the areas as demarcated in deed plans annexed to the titles they hold.

The  National Assembly’s lands committee has directed Director of Survey in the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning to re-survey the lands owned by Delmonte.

This came at a time the fruit processing company is geared to apply renewal of its land leases which expires in 2022.

Several quarters have been claiming the company sits on a land which is more than what is indicated in its title deeds.

A  section of residents from Murang’a have been demanding Delmonte to shelve part of its land to settle some people who were displaced by colonialists to create farming land for the company.

The  Kandara Residents Association has been battling in court pushing the fruit processing company to surrender some acres of land before their leases are renewed.

Gkaliamoutsas in the press statement noted that the titles were issued in 1970 and 1973 and this was confirmed by the Director of Survey.

He  said claims that the company is sitting on more land than the acres which they are titled are arising when Delmonte is geared to apply for their land leases to be renewed.

“We have never had a single land dispute from the time we were issued with title deeds until now when the leases are subject for renewal,” stated the managing director.

He  said any member of public can access the deeds plans from the Director of Survey and check the acreage the company owns by google maps.

“Delmonte  wishes to reiterate its readiness to engage relevant stakeholders with a view to reaching reasonable settlement on the land leases issue,” added Gkaliamoutsas.

Three  quarters of the land owned by Delmonte lies in Murang’a County and the rest is in neighbouring Kiambu County.

The pineapple grower and processor has applied for renewal of its leases, a move which has met resistance from some individual leading to several filing of court cases.

By  Bernard  Munyao

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