Farmers in the East African community bloc may have found a better solution to the high cost of food production caused by importation of expensive fertilizers from Europe and Asia and Ukraine.
From July this year, the Kenyan government said it will start importing cheap fertilizer from Tanzania.
According to Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Mithika Linturi, the move is a short-term government strategy to increase agricultural production and reduce the price of food production.
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By importing fertilizer from Tanzania, Linturi said Kenya would reduce its dependence on European countries and Morocco.
“The government will import different types of fertilizers from Tanzania as a short-term measure. I see no need to import fertilizers from distant countries when we have Tanzania,” he said in his statement to the media.
“Because of the affordable raw materials and the distance between Kenya and Tanzania, this will enable our country to have fertilizer at a reasonable price for our farmers,” he added.
Asked about the expected fertilizer from Tanzania, the Minister said that the production model of Intracom company, manufacturers of different types of fertilizers in Tanzania, involves the use of organic fertilizers and phosphorus and it has been demonstrated that he was able to double crop production by enriching the soil.
“Fertilizers have increased food production by up to 39% and reduced production costs in Tanzania,” he said.
Intracom is a production plant located in Dodoma established by a Burundian investor under a public-private partnership to provide Tanzanian farmers with different types of fertilizers with an affordable price and high quality.
The company was founded with $180 million and its goal was to employ more than 3,500 Tanzanians.
Agricultural expert Nasha Kagua, says that these fertilizers produced in Tanzania are organic and compatible with the country’s soil, so farmers will benefit from increased harvests and getting low-cost fertilizers.
“Inorganic fertilizers are responsible for deteriorating soil conditions in Kenya, as many imported varieties contain poor nutrients designed for European and North American soils.”
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Also, Brian Oketch, an international relations expert, says that Tanzania is trying to strengthen its relationship with Kenya by doing business.
“Tanzania is trying to strengthen its relationship with Kenya, apart from that this venture is a matter of pride for Kenya, Tanzania and East Africa in general as it will improve the production levels of plants such as corn and other indigenous plants, crops that will help to deal with food insecurity”, he concluded this expert in international relations.