February 26, 2016
Yara expands presence in Central America
Yara has signed a distribution agreement with the Managua-based company, Cisa Agro, committing the two companies to work towards a significant market share in Nicaragua by 2020.
Yara’s solutions will initially help fertilize coffee, corn, rice and beans – all major crops in Nicaragua. The country was historically known as the "breadbasket of Central America," with agriculture making up 17 percent of its GDP, the highest in the region.
“There’s considerable opportunity for growth in Nicaragua and we believe we have found a partner in Cisa Agro that will help us realize the potential in this country,” says Head of Emerging Markets in BU Latin America, Bernardo Morsink, who signed the deal on behalf of Yara.
The expansion was facilitated by Yara’s growing presence in the region, particularly in Costa Rica where the company’s distribution center in Puntarenas, just 100km south of the border, provided an ideal launching pad into Nicaragua.
The total Nicaraguan fertilizer market is currently 180,000 tonnes and has been dominated by three companies sharing the logistics of importing urea, potassium and other commodities in bulk. The established companies did not see the need to develop a specialties business as they made decent profits from selling commodities.
“Previously, all farmers in Nicaragua used the same fertilizers regardless of their needs,” says Morsink. “We’re giving them the opportunity to choose premium products that will help them increase profitability while protecting their land.”