KENYA: around 8,000 tonnes of organic fertiliser to support sustainable agriculture

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KENYA: around 8,000 tonnes of organic fertiliser to support sustainable agriculture©Miaron Billy/Shutterstock

One of the challenges facing small-scale farmers in Kenya is access to finance and agricultural inputs. The new Fertiliser Financing for Sustainable Agriculture Project, implemented by Kenyan agritech Apollo Agriculture, will see 7,928 tonnes of organic fertiliser supplied to 106,000 smallholder farmers by 2026.

A new project promises a better future for small-scale farmers in Kenya. This is the Fertilizer Financing for Sustainable Agricultural Management Project, launched on 9 April 2024 by the African Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM), a special fund administered by the African Development Bank (AfDB) that provides innovative financing solutions to accelerate fertilizer use in Africa and improve agricultural productivity in the pan-African group’s regional member countries. The AFFM has appointed Kenyan agritech Apollo Agriculture to implement the project.

The AfDB Board of Directors approved a partial commercial credit guarantee of USD 2 million and a grant of USD 219,000 from its African Fertilizer Financing Mechanism to finance the sustainable agriculture project in Kenya. Apollo Agriculture will contribute an additional $25,000, bringing the total financing to nearly $2.25 million.

Increasing farmers’ agricultural productivity

With this pot of money, the agricultural input supplier based in the Kenyan capital Nairobi plans to distribute 7,928 tonnes of fertiliser to 106,000 smallholder farmers between 2024 and 2026, through 150 agricultural retailers and 800 village agents using its digital platform called the Appollo Checkout App. “At least 50% of the smallholder farmers who will be targeted will be women. The credit guarantee should be multiplied by at least five”, says the AfDB.

In addition to fertilisers, Apollo Agriculture will provide the 106,000 beneficiary farmers with certified seeds (maize and beans), crop and soil protection products and insurance against crop losses. The aim is to enable them not only to increase their agricultural productivity, but also to maximise their profits.

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In Kenya, the Fertiliser Financing for Sustainable Agricultural Management Project will also support access to finance for small-scale farmers through a credit guarantee mechanism. How does it work? “If the farmer wants to buy his items on credit, he applies for finance and gets an instant credit decision, thanks to Apollo’s machine learning-based credit models. The farmer then selects the products he needs from Apollo’s digital shop and collects them from his nearest village agro-dealer. We work in partnership with more than 1,000 agricultural merchants to ensure maximum proximity to our farmers”, says Apollo Agriculture.

The Kenya Sustainable Agriculture Fertilizer Financing Project will also support soil health management and extension services, data collection and analysis, monitoring, reporting and project management. The initiative is part of the AfDB’s “Feeding Africa: Strategy for Africa’s Agricultural Transformation, 2016-2025”, which aims to eradicate hunger and rural poverty in Africa over the next ten years.

Inès Magoum

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