February 3, 2023
Farmers in maize-growing counties can now buy subsidised fertilizer after the government began distributing the farm input ahead of the planting season next month.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has assured farmers of the availability of the affordable fertiliser after he flagged off hundreds of bags for 12 counties in Mombasa on February 3, 2023.
A 50kg bag will cost Sh3,500, a significantly lower price than the Sh6,000 market price. Farmers will be able to buy them at the National Cereals and Produce Board depots spread across the counties.
“I want to tell farmers in maize-planting counties that the fertiliser is available in Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Bomet, Kericho, Trans Nzoia, Nakuru, Narok, at Sh3,500 is available,” said the DP when he flagged of 17, 840 bags of the fertiliser headed for Nakuru at Mombasa Railway Terminus.
Another 17,840 bags are headed to Bungoma.
The commodity is being blended and packaged in Mombasa and the DP said they had encouraged the contracted companies to do it locally for employment to Kenyans.
Mr Gachagua asked the farmers, who are now preparing their farms in readiness for the long rains set to begin early next month, to acquire the fertilizer on time.
“We ask all farmers to take advantage of this intervention by government programme and purchase the fertilizer and apply in their farms so we can increase production,” he said.
The administration is keen on reducing the cost of food and has identified subsidising production instead of consumption as the best way to approach the critical issue.
The government has roped in the national administration officials who will spearhead the implementation of the programme to ensure the right farmers benefit from the programme.
“As a government we are committed to reducing the cost of unga and we will do that through increased productivity. That will be achieved through subsidising the cost of inputs. This is exactly what we are doing,” the DP added.
The government plans to distribute at least 6 million bags of subsidized fertilizers as it aims to significantly reduce the cost of production of staple foods such as maize and other cereals.
The Deputy President earlier visited ETG and Yara fertilizer Warehouses in Jomvu Sub County, Mombasa to check the packaging of the fertiliser in readiness for transportation to the pilot counties.
He asked the companies to hasten the blending and packaging of the fertilizer so that the distribution is completed by mid-next month.
“We have discussed with the companies to change their timelines and supply the last bag by March 15. They have agreed and are grateful to work day and night so we pack the fertilizer by mid next month,” he said. Additionally, the DP challenged the firms to employ more youth to meet the deadline for blending and packaging the farm ingredient.