Kenya has been encouraging local production and blending of fertilisers to help cut import costs and reduce subsidies needed to make fertilisers affordable for poor farmers.

The government spends up to Sh3 billion annually to provide farmers with low cost imported fertiliser.

Kenya will benefit from cheaper fertiliser once the Eldoret plant is upgraded to a manufacturing factory.

“The next step now is to manufacture fertiliser,” Mr Bett said earlier, adding that production of fertilisers could start in 2020 once the country starts production of hydrocarbons.

Kenya is seeking to develop oil reserves found in recent years, and the minister also pointed to some gas finds.

Ammonia for fertilisers can be produced from hydrocarbon feedstocks, such as natural gas and oil.

Kenya has for long had plans to put up a fertiliser plant to cut prices, which inflate food prices.

In 1975, the government had picked KenRen, an American firm, to manufacture fertiliser for domestic and export markets.

The deal cost taxpayers tens of millions of shillings but never materialised.

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