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Toyota Tsusho set to make cash from fertiliser subsidies

Employees work at the Toyota Tsusho Fertiliser Africa factory in Ngeria, Uasin Gishu County. photo | JARED NYATAYA
Employees work at the Toyota Tsusho Fertiliser Africa factory in Ngeria, Uasin Gishu County. photo | JARED NYATAYA 

Toyota Tsusho fertiliser plant has received a boost after the government included its products in a subsidy scheme.

The move is part of the government’s effort to support local plants and diversify the range of fertiliser used by farmers.

In the first phase of the programme, the firm will sell 1,200 tonnes of Baraka fertiliser worth an estimated Sh63 million to the government through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), which distributes the manure to farmers.

“We want to include blended fertiliser under our subsidy programme, we will buy it from manufacturers and distribute it under the government subsidy scheme,” Agriculture Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe said.

Dr Lesiyampe said the fertiliser will play a critical role in addressing crop needs as it is blended with different nutrients.

Continuous use of Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertiliser has compromised the quality of soil with research findings released by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2013 indicating that almost half of Kenya’s soil is not suitable for maize growing.

“We are ready to supply the quantities within the required period,” said a Toyota Tsusho official. The Eldoret-based plant, which is a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate, was commissioned in 2016.

The firm is expected to put up a second plant for production of DAP, urea and Calcium Ammonium Nitrogen (CAN) fertilisers.

The factory was set up to end perennial fertiliser shortages in the country, which has exposed farmers to high prices.

The government spends Sh3 billion annually to provide farmers with low-cost fertiliser at Sh1,800 for a 50 kilogramme bag compared with the market rate of Sh3,500.