By Wasike Elvis
Farmers in Uasin Gishu County who are members of cooperative societies will soon get fertilizer at a cheap price after a fertilizer production plant starts operations soon.
Japan based Toyota Tshusho Company is setting up a Sh1.2 Billion fertilizer plant at Ngeria, and is set to start production early next month (August).
Speaking after touring the plant with Toyota Tshusho officials recently, Uasin Gishu County Governor Jackson Mandago said the plant will be of its kind since fertilizer produced will be soil and crop specific.
“For farmers to benefit from the fertilizers that will be produced soon, they need to join cooperative societies for them to have high bargaining power, since we will only sell fertilizers to farmers in cooperatives,” he said..
The firm, he added, will be producing 150,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer per year which will not only be sold to farmers in the county but other counties and countries.
Toyota Tshusho Africa Managing Director Takahashi Hattori said everything is complete, with machines having been installed and will be producing ‘Baraka’ fertilizer brand in early August.
CEC in charge of Trade Philip Melly said once the fertilizer company is complete, it will protect farmers from middlemen who sell fake fertilizer to them at high prices.
“We want all farmers in the region to be organized by forming societies for us to help them both financially and also to give them advice on what they are supposed to do to increase production and reduce cost of production,” he said
He added that Uasin County Government is fully funding cooperatives and thus the need for farmers to join them to access the funds.
“Recently we unveiled Sh 60 million Enterprise Fund for cooperatives and Saccos which we are giving out in form of loans at the rate of 8 per cent since we want to empower you financially to improve your livelihoods,” he reiterated. He however, called upon Kenyans to cultivate the culture of saving in cooperatives since it will be easier to get loans than from banks which need a lot of information before advancing the same.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to open the plant officially early this month.
By Wasike Elvis