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A Fertilizer Company on the Cutting Edge of Green Farming in Kenya

Marion Akinyi Moon, founder and managing director of the organic fertilizer company Wanda Organic, is among the emerging Kenyan youth who are taking Kenya’s agricultural sector to the next level. Only 30 years old, Moon is among seven recipients of a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development under Feed the Future to pilot a private sector-oriented innovation with the potential to transform rural family farms.

Most rural, smallholder families in Kenya depend on agriculture as an important part of their livelihoods, but the land they use for farming is often degraded and depleted of nutrients. Wanda Organic is addressing that challenge by promoting affordable organic fertilizer. Traditionally, women and youth are an underserved market for agricultural input, so in that regard the company is also filling a market niche.

Currently, Wanda Organic imports and markets Plantmate Organic Fertilizer, which is produced by a company in the Philippines from plant and animal wastes. The company also imports Prime EC Foliar Plant Food, which is a combination of different soil enrichers. Wanda Organic plans to establish local production facilities in Kenya and other parts of East Africa, where the company has secured exclusive rights to produce these fertilizers.

In preparation for this local production phase, Wanda Organic is training farmers and conducting demonstrations on the benefits of organic fertilizer in order to build demand for these products.

“Our production model is aimed at bringing the product closer to the farmer, as this will reduce the price of the fertilizer by reducing transport expenses, which is a major factor in the high cost of imported fertilizer,” says Moon.

Wanda Organic is working closely with partners in both the public and private sector, with the long-term goal of impacting at least 25 percent of the five million farmers the Government of Kenya reaches with extension services. In addition to supporting Wanda Organic through grant funding, Feed the Future is also providing technical experts to advise the company and support its commercial viability.

“Farmers will begin to embrace more progressive and sustainable agricultural practices that have proven to increase yields, reduce crop cycles, suppress diseases and improve soil health with the use of these products,” Moon said in February at the grant award ceremony in Kenya. She emphasized that by adopting new technologies, farmers can increase both their productivity and profitability.

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