AFAP was engaged by Toyota and OCP to help develop the Kenya market with an eye towards regional markets in East Africa.

Market characteristics

Kenya is the most “open” market in East Africa. It has volume that is attractive to international investment. It is a gateway to Uganda and Rwanda. On average there is between $130 and $180 per ton margin build up through the fertilizer distribution channel in Kenya. It is multi-layered. The whole issue of crop-specific fertilizers is of interest to many to increase food security and farmer return on investment. Importantly, it is also at a significant point for those in the value chain to differentiate services.


  • Toyota, in its diversification strategy to introduce a new blending plant, engaged AFAP develop its strategy
  • AFAP assisted Toyota to build capacity of nationals’ staff and to engage the community.
  • Toyota has set up research and learning facilities with Moi University and the University of Eldoret. JICA supported this, supplying laboratory equipment to allow analysis of soils and fertilizer collaborative research programs were set up under the guidance of IFDC initially. The universities will do new product development and research suitable for high supervision.
    • Toyota to would lever its extensive vehicle and farm machinery distribution network.
    • AFAP, IFDC and IPNI worked well as a team to provide assistance to Toyota.
    • AFAP “program managed” the implementation – weekly meetings with all parties.
    • Toyota engaged 20 field staff comprising agronomists and other relevant specialists, and in 2017 will largely do all the trial development with technical guidance from IFDC.


  • OCP had identified Kenya as an entry point in East Africa. In 2013/14, IFDC and AFAP helped develop its market entry strategy.

OCP established offices in Nairobi in 2016 with a staff component of nine people. It has plans to build a blending plant after the government of Kenya accepted blends.

OCP put these plans on hold when the Kenyan Bureau of Standards (KEBS) chose to review the cadmium levels in imported phosphates from 30 ppm cadmium (Cd) to 17 ppm Cd, which would have excluded OCP product.

AFAP was requested to provide evidence on impact of such a policy shift, AFAP presented information on latest science on Cd in Europe showing no adverse effect with Cd levels in OCP fertilizer. It also provided information showing pineapple contamination in 2006 came from contaminated zinc sulfate from China – not OCP fertilizer as was claimed.

OCP has signed a deal with the Rwandan government to build a blending plant in Rwanda. AFAP has provided technical support in the design and needs of the plant.

In Kenya the following is of relevance:

  • Three international companies invested in country.
  • Increased competition from new entrants. Estimates from both SABIC and Toyota suggest a reduction in wholesale prices of $15 per ton across at least 400,000 tons imported (excluding fertilizer for tea production). Toyota believes this is being passed onto most growers as the shape of the distribution channel chan­ges. This is $6 million to all farmers. This is the first outcome in establishing a competitive market. One can expect that most farmers will have an increase in return on investment over the next couple of years and increase in fertilizer usage as return on investment rises. This to be tracked at farmer level to observe the impact of price reduction to productivity and return on investment.
  • There is an increase in capacity building activities in the fertilizer value chain – all suppliers launched their own agronomic sales teams and Toyota is even supporting building capacity at university level.
  • All entrants are looking for competitive positioning.
  • ETG would also like to leverage their agronomic expertise within their South African subsidiary Kynoch, which was recently bought by ETG, and which has large number of qualified agronomists.

Other countries

  • The development in Kenya is being looked at by most East African countries and the progress is rapid. According to the AFAP country manager in Tanzania and the chairman of the Tanzanian Fertilizer Regulatory Authority (TFRA), the government will change its regulations within the first quarter of 2017 to encourage international companies to make investments in Tanzania in the sector. Both OCP and Toyota are interested in gaining access to the Tanzania market if these changes are affected.
  • The AFAP cadmium report has been used to support change in Rwanda and Tanzania.
  • Toyota is also exploring opportunities in West Africa.