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K+S expands activities in East Africa

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Fertilizer,

Under its “Shaping 2030” strategy", K+S is expanding into Sub-Saharan Africa, which offers great potential due to its underdeveloped agriculture.

The use of fertilizers is comparatively low at only 8 kg/ha and crop yields are correspondingly low. By comparison, an average of 135 kg/ha are used worldwide and in Europe, 150 kg are used. In addition, agriculture is characterised by small-scale farming structures without pronounced agricultural know-how. This is where K+S comes in.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is a region with very high growth potential that reminds us of Brazil, India, or China in recent decades,” explains K+S CEO Dr. Burkhard Lohr. The entry point to sub-Saharan Africa already happened through an aid programme in Uganda in 2013. Since then, there have been developments. “Of course, our activities in Uganda are also about being economically successful. At the same time, however, it is also capacity building and, in my opinion, an approach to show the people the prospects they have in their own country. This I see as a key to answering the refugee question.”

K+S is currently investing in agricultural infrastructure in Uganda, such as fertilizer blending plants, grain handling processing, and storage facilities near the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

In a second step, K+S, together with local partners, will set up a digital trading platform. In the process, a Ugandan partner obtains fertilizer through K+S and provides it to small-scale farmers in the required quantities. After the harvest, the small-scale farmer can then sell the finished products (coffee, corn, etc.) through the platform at transparent prices to local wholesalers, with whom K+S also cooperates in order to ensure quality and reliability. Likewise, the platform should be open to other products and providers, for example for financial and insurance services.

K+S plans to extend this business model later to other countries in the sub-Saharan region. “Our goal is to become the leading agricultural solutions provider in East Africa in a few years,” says Dr. Lohr. “Working closely with our local partners, we are becoming an integrated point of contact for farmers to provide them with optimal support in both the production and subsequent sale of their products.”

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