- The funding seeks to support the distribution of over 7,000 tonnes of fertilizers, targeting at least 100,000 smallholder farmers.
- The board of directors of AfDB approved the Fertilizer Financing for Sustainable Agriculture Management project on October 13.
Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM), a special AfDB fund has pledged Sh304.9 million partial trade credit guarantee and Sh33.3 million grants funding to fast track fertiliser distribution in Kenya.
The funds will be channelled through the Nairobi-based Apollo Agriculture Limited to support the distribution of over 7,000 tonnes of fertiliser targeting at least 100,000 smallholder farmers.
The Africa focussed lender also seeks to increase the smallholder farmers’ production, income, and create job opportunities.
The three-year programme begins next year with Apollo tasked to sell fertilizer throughout the country.
"This will be done through our network, covering around 150 retail agro-dealers and 800 village-based agents using digital platforms," Apollo said.
It said most smallholder farmers in Kenya buy fertiliser through informal credit, microfinance institutions and commercial banks, but access to fertiliser financing remains a challenge, as some cannot provide collateral.
“This partnership with the Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism comes in handy to make essential farming inputs accessible and affordable to small-scale farmers, thereby boosting farmer income and Kenya's food security.” said Benjamin Njenga, co-founder of Apollo.
Africa Fertiliser Financing Mechanism coordinator Marie Claire Kalihangabo, said the funds would be channelled through the fertiliser financing for sustainable agriculture management project, with main focus on women and the youths.
“The fertiliser financing for sustainable agriculture management project will improve farming productivity by facilitating access and use of fertiliser for smallholder farmers at the last mile, with 50 per cent of women among the beneficiaries,” Claire said.
AfDB said the move aligns with the bank's Feed Africa Strategy because it will stimulate the private sector’s fertiliser financing in Kenya, improving food productivity and security.