Netherlands-based social impact investor Oikocredit has injected Sh500 million for establishment of a Nakuru-based fertiliser factory.
The capital injection into Fertiplant East Africa will see the investor get equity stake in the company.
Oikocredit’s investment brings to Sh1.5 billion the total investment for establishment of the factory following a Sh1 billion initial loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
“All the monies received are directly targeted at getting the plant functional and producing for the 2020 season,” said Fertiplant Director Titus Gitau.
The fertiliser plant set for completion in mid-2019 will have capacity to produce 110,000 metric tonnes and will serve farmers across East African.
Mr Gitau said the plant will produce fertilisers that fit specific regions.
It is set to produce specialty fertiliser for the tea, wheat, sugarcane and potato producing areas.
“Farmers will now through Fertiplant have fertiliser combinations designed for their needs that will directly address soil nutrient deficiencies and crops’ nutrient needs to deliver increased returns per acre,” he said. He said existence of the plant will eliminate the need to import, thereby saving the country forex as well as create new jobs directly and indirectly.
In ideal situations farmers need to test their soils every three to five years to better understand their nutrient composition and to allow for the fertiliser sellers to formulate blends or combinations that address both soil nutrient deficiencies and plant nutritional requirements.
“The factory will re-introduce the science of soil testing for farmers to better understand what fertiliser combination to buy,” he said.
Fertiplant will manufacture the fertiliser from raw materials like phosphate rocks imported in their raw format, using heat granulation technology.
The plant is set to be the first of its kind in sub- Saharan Africa outside of South Africa.