TOYOTA Tsusho East Africa says ground breaking for its planned $1 billion fertilizer factory in Kenya will be done in September.
Special advisor to TTEA Dennis Awori said yesterday that the company predominantly in the automobile business said it plans massive investments in the country to boost the agriculture sector in Kenya to increase earnings.
Awori said the investments in agriculture are anchored on three pillars namely mechanisation, value chain expansion through the fertilizer factory and involvement in post harvest processing and diversification of agriculture to include growing of more high value crops, processing them and finding export markets for the produce.
"Mechanisation is very important but more so commercialisation of agriculture making it more productive," said Awori yesterday.
He was speaking during the launch of Case IH tractors in the country which will be distributed by Toyota. Awori said the tractors which he assured will be reasonably priced to cut cost of production for farmers, will be used for harvesting, planting, tillage, spraying and hay/forage sorting and collection.
Case IH agricultural divisional general manager Ian Allen said the company will ensure farmers get training and good after sales service which has been a challenge that has affected technology use in farm productions.
For the fertilizer plant plans, Awori said the company is in intensive talks with the government and a feasibility study that started in March will be concluded next month.
"We are keen to actualize this plan and produce targeted fertiliser whose specification matches particular soils in the country; and to do it at a lower cost," Awori added.
It is estimated that 40 per cent of the cost of fertiliser is due to freight and port handling charges hence a local plant would drastically reduce price.