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Sh 69.4 billion grant to process fertilizer out of water hyacinth, mathenge weed

By Caroline Chebet
Old ferry at Kisumu port in a picture taken on January 17,2019. The port has become inactive because of the water hyacinth cover that has kept ferries away from docking at the port.(Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard)

New plant to process water hyacinth into fertiliser.

A local company is planning to set up a fertiliser processing plant using hyacinth that has been ravaging Lake Victoria and Naivasha.

They will also use mathenge (Prosopis juliflora) which is dominant in arid and semi-arid areas.

The company, Hyaquip Kenya, has secured a Sh69.4 billion grant to kick off the project. According to Simon Mwaura, the technical director at the company, has already started putting up a factory within the 100-acre piece of land in Solai where the processing will take place.

 "This will address the challenges of weed chocking the lakes as well as addressing the fertiliser deficit in the county,” said Mwaura.

 The plant, he said, will process about nine tonnes of hyacinth in an hour.

“We have already designed a water hyacinth processing equipment which will harvest, process and utilise the hyacinth and other water mash plants with soft tissues as raw material.

The equipment has capacity to contain the rapid growth of water hyacinth and other water mash plants that multiplies at a very high rate.

The harvested hyacinth is processed into organic fertilisers,” he said. The plant will also bridge  600,000 tonnes fertiliser deficit in the country.

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