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Limited warehousing facilities hinder investment,SMEs growth

Industrialists have decried limited warehousing facilities in the country, saying they hurt investment and slowed the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Led by Chandaria Properties Founder and Managing Partner Darshan Chandaria, they said warehousing remains critical in the industry and called on entrepreneurs to exploit the gap.

The Industrialists said the limited storage spaces, coupled with the high cost of establishing their own facilities, were a challenge to SMEs as they impeded investment and the growth of industries.

Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony of the Link, a multi-million state-of-the-art SME warehousing and logistics park in Tatu City, Kiambu County On Tuesday, Mr. Chandaria said most SMEs have turned to long-term leasing of warehouse spaces as they lack the resources to own warehouses outright.

He added that companies with high production capacities struggle with storage, thus the need for more investment in leased warehousing.

“This is an area that needs to be exploited. Most SMEs cannot afford to put up their own spaces and turn to long-term space leasing programmes. Global companies too opt to lease warehouse spaces rather than put up their warehouses,” said Chandaria.

His sentiments were echoed by Tatu City Head of Sales David Karimi, who said with the fast growth of the city, a state-of-the art warehousing facility was needed to facilitate investment.

More than 80 companies have set up shop on the over 5,000-acre piece of land.

“Due to the hard economic times, quite a number of companies don’t want to construct their own warehousing and distribution centres. Due to this gap, we will provide long-term warehousing leasing to enable them to penetrate the market,” said Karimi.

The multi-million project that will be completed by the end of next year is a joint initiative between Tatu City Ltd., Chandaria Capital, Steel Structures, and M&T Construction.

Kiambu County Trade and Investment CEC Nancy Gichung’wa said the establishment is a milestone in supporting SMEs as well as attracting industries in the County, adding that SMEs will be able to fix and store their wares as they prepare to export them.

She noted that local farmers from the rich agricultural County will get cooling facilities for their perishable produce as they wait to go to market.

Besides, she said, more youth will be employed in the industrial park, which currently has over 10,000 employees and more than 80 companies, both local and global.

Tigoni MCA and Kiambu County Assembly Trade Committee Chair Patrick Ngaria said, “This is a milestone for SMEs. It will also save farmers from post-harvest losses and motivate them to farm more.”

Other companies in Tatu City include Kenya Wines, Kopier, Dorman, and Twiga Foods, among many others.

By Muoki Charles

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