Kenyan multinational Export Trading Group has unveiled a mobile application allowing farmers to order and have fertiliser delivered at no cost.
The ETG mobile app enables farmers to establish availability of the input, prices and the nearest point of distribution.
Dealing in Falcon brands, its planting fertiliser NPK retails at Sh2,350 for the 50 kg bag and its top dressing variety CAN, goes for Sh1, 550.
Job Oyoo, the app’s manager at ETG said the tool is targeted at easing access to fertiliser and will help farmers save on transport costs and time.
“The app developed in 2017 is built to meet the demands of our farmers who have for a long time struggled to access fertilisers,” he said.
While government-subsidised fertiliser is intended to save farmers on cost, accessing the input at depots is usually a nightmare that at times compels them to camp there even after paying for it.
Subsidised NPK goes for Sh2,000 for the 50 kg bag.
Mr Oyoo noted that with the mobile app, farmers can collect the goods from ETG stores or get them delivered directly to their home/warehouse then make payments via M-Pesa or a bank account.
He said, without giving numbers, that the uptake of the app was picking up in the 11 counties including Trans-Nzoia, Bungoma, Uasin Gishu, Kiambu, Nyeri, Murang’a, Nakuru, Kericho, Bomet, Kakamega and Migori.
Transport budget for large-scale farmers can be substantial, explaining why farmers may opt for it.
In September, ETG announced plans of opening a fertiliser plant in Mombasa in a move expected to increase competition and possibly reduce prices of the input and address perpetual food shortage.
Kenya has been encouraging local production and blending of fertilisers to help cut import costs and reduce subsidies.
The government spends up to Sh3 billion annually to provide farmers with low cost imported fertiliser.
In March last year, Japanese conglomerate Toyota Tsusho launched a blending plant in Eldoret.