Article by: Floriculture Magazine - Florinews
Aviv Levi is the Managing Director, Amiran Kenya Ltd, the leading agricultural solution provider in Kenya that has played a role in positioning its clients as major suppliers of floriculture and horticultural produce in the local market, Europe and the rest of the world. The company has done this by ensuring that farmers in Kenya have access to world class innovations ranging from chemicals, fertilizers, seeds, modern irrigation systems, high quality greenhouse models, plastics and covers in addition to services such as training and agro-support.
Since his arrival to Amiran, Aviv and his team have worked tirelessly to better position the company as the market leader in almost all agricultural crop sectors , as well as leading in the introduction of new innovations and services all geared towards uplifting its clientele.
What is your personal agricultural back ground?
When I first arrived in Kenya, I joined Soloplant, Amiran Kenya’s sister company as the Head of Production. Later, I took the role of the General Manager of the company. My team and I worked hard to position the company in the floriculture industry as a market leader in seedling propagation. Prior to this, I worked for Hishtil, one of the leading vegetable seedling companies in Israel. I have always had a passion for agriculture as far back as I can remember, there is something about taking care of a crop from seedling stage to harvest; it brings me an amazing sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. I enjoy visiting our clients at the farm to ensure their crops are well taken care of.
How long have you been in Kenya?
I have been in Kenya since 2003 when I first joined Soloplant. I must admit, I have loved being here ever since.
What do you think is the role of the private sector to the development of the Agricultural Sector?
In my view private sector is the driving force behind the development of the agriculture sector. off course this is done working hand in hand with the Government, through the various ministries, and with the donor and NGO communities. But, it is the private sector, driven by a commercial interest, that is charged with constantly upgrading the level of inputs, technological innovations and service available to the farmers, who are the end user and it is they who deserve to be empowered with only the best.
What are some of the things Amiran has contributed to the agricultural sector?
Incepted during the year of Kenya’s independence in 1663, Amiran is humbled to have grown with the country, being part of the great strides and milestones that Kenya’s agricultural industry has been through.
Amiran’s biggest contribution to the Kenyan agricultural sector has been the agricultural and technical knowhow coupled with top of the line technology and products that it has continually brought into the country over the years with its array of firsts in bringing Agricultural innovations that have been unsuccessfully imitated by its competitors.
In the late 1980’s Amiran brought consultants from Israel to advise the future flower growers of Kenya on the adoption of large scale greenhouses, which today are part of Kenya’s heritage as they symbolize Kenya’s position as the leading floriculture producer in the world. Continuing with this ‘hands on’ approach, Amiran helped to build the first flower farms in Kenya, complete with greenhouses and advanced irrigation systems at the time and has since erected 90 percent, 2700 hectares of the 3000 hectares of greenhouses in Kenya. Continuously growing its investment in Kenya, Amiran’s involvement in the agriculture sector grew as it diversified into agro chemicals and fertilizers responding to the ever present needs of the growers.
We are proud to have been a trusted partner to our clients in the floriculture and horticulture industries since the very beginning. Amiran is also a home for small scale farmers and we are happy that we have reached a point where all farmers, large and small, look to us when they need reliable advice.
You have partnered with several organizations in this agribusiness journey, who are they, and their importance?
Our main goal as a company is to ensure our farmers enjoy world class agricultural innovations that make farming an enjoyable and rewarding experience. To do this we have sought out partnerships with world renowned leaders in the sector such as; Netafim Israel, Ginegar Plastics Israel, Hazera seeds, Haifa chemicals and ADAMA among other world leaders in the field.
Most of our partners are leading innovators in their fields, have been around for years and have researched and studied the world’s agricultural, together with them we have bridged the gap so that Kenyan growers enjoy cutting edge ago-technology.
Our local partners; NGOs, donor Groups, Government Bodies, County Governments, Learning Institutions, Finance Organizations and many more, have been a great base and support system to modern technology taking root at different levels. We hope to get other partners on board as more needs to be done for the agricultural sector, this can only happen when different organizations join hands for a better good.
How do you see Amiran contributing to the future of the sector?
Through the years in the agricultural field, we learnt that that our goal as service providers is to offer our clients with solutions to their day to day needs. Through research, networking and trials we seek to find solutions that ensure Kenyan growers have an enjoyable farming experience, top notch harvest and that their produce is kept fresh until it gets to the end user.
To further increase the quality and quantity of agricultural production, Amiran will continue to offer growers sensing technology to make farms more ‘intelligent’ and more connected through the so-called ‘precision agriculture’ also known as ‘smart farming’. Our foremost aim is to use the means at our disposal to empower the farmers we work with and the sector as a whole to become sustainable and profitable.
What legacy do you want to leave behind in agribusiness sector?
90% of all Kenyans practice agriculture in one way or another, whether in large scale for export, small scale to commercialize and for subsistence or just a little garden for fun. Our biggest goal is to tap into all these level of farmers by understanding their needs and providing them with top quality products, which empower them to succeed, our goal now and for the future remains the success of the farmers.