The country’s economy is heavily dependent on agriculture and it is the largest contributor to Kenyaâ€™s gross domestic product (GDP). There is therefore need for companies that work in the agriculture sector to invest in research and development to ensure that farmers gain the best possible return so as to boost their crop yield.
One of the companies doing this is ARM cement limited, who have fertilizers as one of their divisions. At the moment, the company has about 5% of the market share but are one of the fastest growing manufactures in the sector and hope that their soil/crop specific fertilizers will give them a boost in the market.
The company spent 15 years developing their fertilizer with a focus on the different soils and environments in different parts of the country. They partnered with different learning institutions, government agencies and NGOs to carry out field demonstrations across the country aimed at helping the local farmer see the advantages of using the right fertilizer and farm inputs for their crops with improved agricultural practices and in turn helped develop a database that is also useful to other stakeholders in the country.
In 2003, ARM set up its Mavuno fertilizer division responsible for the manufacture of a range of quality nutrient fertilizers. Mavuno Fertilisers are compound blended fertilizers containing 11 essential plant nutrients. When combined in various formulations and blends these fertilizers have been proven to give superior crop yields.
Mavuno fertilizers come in specific nutrient blends that are made for specifically for different soil conditions and crop nutrient requirements. For example, the fertilizer used for maize in the Trans Nzoia region is different from the one developed for the Central Region thus making it possible for farmers to gain from the specific soils that are available in those regions.
With the growing threat of food insecurity it is imperative that other companies also take the initiative and work at giving the agriculture sector a boost so as to take full advantage of the country’s potential. These companies don’t have to do it alone but can partner with the Kenya Agriculture Research Institute (KARI) to help in making the country more food secure.