Farmers in Eldoret under the North Rift Farmers Union have signed an MOU with a private firm to supply DAP fertilizer at Sh3,000 per 50kg bag.
This follows government’s decision not to import subsidised fertilizer this year. Exports Trading Group Inputs Kenya Ltd (ETG) will also buy maize from the farmers at a Sh1,900 per 90kg bag.
This is Sh600 less than the Sh2,500 offered at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
Businessman Zedekiah Bundotich, alias Buzeki, in partnership with the company representatives met with the farmers in Eldoret and signed the MOU on Saturday. ETG was represented by Charles Lewis.
“We are here to commit ourselves that we will provide the fertilizer needed by the farmers and we will also buy maize from them,” Lewis said.
Buzeki’s company will provide transportation and other logistical support. The fertilizer will be supplied to farmers through co-operative societies.
Already, the company has provided 30,000 bags of DAP in Eldoret and will disburse a further 100,000 bags.
“There will still be a huge shortage but we have asked ETG to move and bring into the country fertilizer from other markets”, Buzeki said.
The businessman lauded the partnership saying high cost of farm inputs will likely make food production impossible.
The government announced that it will buy only two million bags of maize at Sh2,500 per bag this season against farmers request of Sh3,600 per bag. The government said it won’t import subsidised fertilizer this year because of procurement hurdles and graft.
Buzeki said high fertilizer prices will drive up the cost of maize production. “President Kenyatta will not achieve the food security pillar in his Big Four Agenda if the government cannot address the high cost of production”, he said.
Buzeki said there was still time for the government to organize itself and provide farmers with subsidised fertilizer. The government must also act to eliminate cartels that have caused farming to be an expensive venture, he said.
Buzeki said ETG will buy as much maize as possible from farmers to enable them buy fertilizer for the planting season.