Kenya inks fertiliser production deal with foreign company

President William Ruto (left) and Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua (Second right) during the signing of a partnership agreement with representatives from Fortescue Future Industries in Egypt on Monday, November 7 2022. [Courtesy of State House]

Kenya has partnered with an Australia-based company, Fortescue Future Industries, to build a fertiliser production facility in the next three years.

The move, according to State House is aimed at accelerating the development of affordable green fertiliser by 2025.

On Monday, November 7, 2022, State House via its Twitter page shared photos of President William Ruto and Fortescue Future Industries Executive Chairman Dr Andrew Forrest signing the agreement in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

Ruto is in Egypt for the United Nations' 27th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27).

He stated that the partnership will help Kenya's transition to green energy.

“The shift will help reduce our reliance on imports, check the high cost of fertiliser and boost food production,” he said.

Forrest, on his part, said the collaboration will result in the creation of new jobs in the country.

Under the agreement, Fortescue Future Industries will collaborate with the Kenyan government to build a 300MW capacity green ammonia and green fertiliser facility by 2025.

The partnership follows Ruto’s ambitious plan to use agriculture to respond to the adverse effect of the climate change crisis in Kenya.

During his inauguration, President William Ruto pledged to make available cheaper fertiliser as one of the new administration's efforts to lower the cost of living.

At the core of his 10-year strategy for Agricultural Sector Growth and Transformation, Ruto said farmers will be registered to direct incentives and be educated on beneficial farming practices through customised extension services.

In his maiden speech at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Ruto said his government intends to invest in modern agricultural technology as a high-priority action to tackle prevailing environmental challenges.

Mr Ruto also announced that there will be regular monitoring of emergency food reserve stocks using a Digital Food Balance Sheet and the use of an Early Warning System to monitor food supplies and market prices.

“Agriculture remains the bedrock of the development of many nations and the sector has an important part to play in reducing the severity of climate change. No country, large or small, has ever attained significant growth without modernising its agricultural sector,” he said.